Richard’s Fine Coffees Celebrates 25th Anniversary
by James Coulter
For the past quarter century, Richard’s Fine Coffee has been Downtown Winter Haven’s go-to location for locals to either start the morning with a fresh brew or to drop by for a bite for breakfast or lunch.
Richard’s recently celebrated its 25th anniversary last Friday on its opening day of June 11 with a free mug giveaway, live musical performances, and overall camraderie with loyal customers. The first 100 customers that morning received their own commemorative mug, while local musicians like Marcus Brixa performed on the patio.
The Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce commemorated the occasion with a ribbon cutting hosted earlier that morning around 9 a.m. Katie Worthington Decker, President/CEO, occasionally frequents the cafe. She appreciates how the small local eatery has remained in business for as long as it has, and she hopes that it continues to remain successful.
“Dave [the owner] took a chance on the downtown when it was blighted and sleepy,” she said. “Richard’s became a cornerstone business in the downtown’s revitalization. We are excited to celebrate his 25th anniversary in business and the many loyal customers that have been with him through the years.”
David Tuttle opened the cafe 25 years ago on June 11, 1996. He initially wanted to bring something unique to Downtown Winter Haven, as well as Polk County. Since there was no independent coffee house, he decided to open one in Winter Haven.
Originally, Richard’s Fine Coffees opened in its own location within the Arcade Building. However, when the Winter Haven Public Library opened its new building in 2005, the cafe took up shop inside. Its location near the library entrance and the patio fountain, right across the street from the park, made it the ideal locale.
Ultimatley, its main key to success has been its dedication to customer service. Most other coffee shops want customers in and out, to take their cup of joe and go. However, Richard’s offers a more laid-back atmosphere where customers can sit back, relax, and enjoy their drink or food.
“We want people coming in looking like they are family,” Tuttle said. “They are welcome each and every time. We treat them like our family, and we expect by doing so that they will continue to return and they do. So that is what has kept us in business. It is not our product, or our selection, or our location, it is how people are treated when they walk in our front doors.”
Of course, Tuttle also owes his success to the hard work of the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Winter Haven, and the City of Winter Haven to renovate the downtown area over the past 25 years and to keep its cityscape up to par, ensuring that the place is hospitable to both businesses and customers alike.
“Those folks have worked tirelessly for the last 25 years creating what they created down here to make it a destination for people in the community,” Tuttle said. “Without them, there would be no one here.”
As for the future, Tuttle remain hopeful. Though the past year has proven rough with the pandemic, he hopes to keep moving forward one day at a time, and that their expectations adjust with whatever the future ultimatley brings their way.
“When it comes down to it, with the participation with the city of Winter Haven, the Chamber, and Main Street, without those folks and the incredible community giving support, of what we go through, [business] has been incredible,” he said. “They have been there for us and we appreciate the fact that they have given us these 25 years, and we will continue to provide the level of service that they have come to expect from us.”
Richard’s Fine Coffees is located near the Winter Haven Public Library, located at 330 Avenue A NW Winter Haven, FL 33881. The cafe will be celebrating its anniversary all month long with various specials every day. For more info, visit their website at: www.richardsfinecoffees.com.