By Arielle Waldman
Times Staff Writer Published: September 16, 2016
DOWNTOWN — On Sept. 8, RE/MAX Bay to Bay owner James Ramos rolled out a new concept that combines real estate and coffee, called Indigo Coffee House + Social Bar/RE/MAX Bay to Bay.
“I came up with the idea like three years ago,” Ramos said. “I called a few local coffee companies when we opened our Carrollwood office but we just couldn’t make it work.”
It wasn’t until Ramos spotted the downtown Tampa corner of Franklin and Twiggs streets that his dream could come to life.
“There had been an Indigo Coffee there so I called Jeff the owner and asked him for advice,” Ramos said. “He asked me if I’d like to buy the brand because he was interested in selling, so I ended up buying the Indigo Coffee brand and it came with the two locations.”
Now, under Ramos, the corner houses a coffee shop in the front and a satellite office for agents in the back.
“The Realtors can have a nice place cooperatively to work and appreciate foot traffic and accommodations that a restaurant could offer,” Ramos said.
Agents can sit around a Connecticut custom-built 8-foot-long table to meet with clients, as well as use a conference room and an office.
The front will be a fully operating cafe serving tea, coffee, local beer, wine, champagne, salads, sandwiches and sweets, with 27 seats inside and 12 on the patio.
“One of the strategies with working with millennials in real estate, they work and operate differently than agents that are my age,” Ramos said. “They like a more social setting.”
An industrial chic design, Indigo Coffee House + Social Bar/RE/MAX located at 514 N Franklin St. is decorated with ceramic tile from Spain, reclaimed wood and concrete counter tops.
“A lot of offices have a coffee bar but it caters to the real estate clients,” Ramos said. “I expanded that idea. Now we have two businesses that stand on their own but can co-exist with each other.”
This will be the franchise owner’s fourth RE/MAX location.
“Our office on Bay to Bay is 13,000 square feet so I was looking for a smaller space,” Ramos said.
The new 1,100-square-foot location will not only house two businesses but also serve as an event venue for parties and meet-ups, geared toward real estate.
“Downtown is growing so fast and there’s so much to talk about right here,” Ramos said.
Stop by today for the opening of the Indigo Coffee House + Social Bar where they will be serving cafe con leche, pressed Cuban toast and more.