October 11, 2018

Brew Coffee Bean opens in Marlborough

Brew Coffee Bean opened Oct. 1 at Marlborough's RK Centre on Route 20.

Frank Peace once served as a director of operations across New England for Starbucks, so he knows the coffee giant's strengths and weaknesses.

Now Peace has opened a cafe in a former Starbucks on Route 20 in Marlborough, directly across the street from where Starbucks has relocated at the Apex Center of New England.

"It feels very special because, a) I worked for Starbucks before, and, b) I've lived in Marlborough for 24 years," Peace said Thursday, a few hours before a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m. with the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Brew Coffee Bean's location at 187 Boston Post Road West in the RK Centre shopping plaza stood out to Peace during his time helping to oversee more than 100 Starbucks locations, and the timing was fortuitous when Starbucks decided to move across the street to Apex Center, which opened last fall.

Brew Coffee Bean opened Oct. 1.

Peace was formerly involved in Worcester's Brew on the Grid, a cafe in the Grid District development. Peace has split with the Grid Hospitality Group and plans to grow Brew Coffee Bean to two or three locations in the next year.

Linda Peace, the wife of owner Frank Peace, at Brew Coffee Bean in Marlborough.

"I decided this was a great opportunity to build some new innovative concepts," Peace said.

Peace isn't daunted by operating in the shadow of Starbucks or in a region where there's a Dunkin' Donuts for seemingly every square mile. He knows Starbucks well enough to subtly point out that Brew Coffee Bean will use more authentic coffee-making equipment and food that's fresh, not frozen.

"I have a sustainable point of difference," he said.

Brew Coffee Bean is also planning to expand to beer and spirits by December by obtaining a liquor license.


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