Browne’s Irish Marketplace isn’t just Kansas City’s oldest Irish establishment. It is also the city’s oldest retail business. Established in 1887 by the great grandparents of the current owner, Kerry Browne, Browne’s Irish Marketplace truly is a little piece of Ireland hidden on the edge of Westport. And as many close friends of our Bean Baron Danny O’Neill know, if something is Irish, we want to get involved with it.
A Big Irish Family
To celebrate his Irish heritage, Danny O’Neill pegged Browne’s Irish Marketplace as a Roasterie customer almost 20 years ago. It wasn’t long until Kerry Browne, her husband John McClain and the Roasterie crew became partners and friends—spending time as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, the annual Irish Street Fair and the Kansas City Irish Center.
But Danny and The Roasterie family didn’t only hit it off with Kerry and her husband. As a matter of fact, Danny was also good friends with Kerry’s mother. The two picked on each other and joked around constantly—even though she was a whopping 2 feet shorter than our Bean Baron.
“Coffee was always just something that Mom and Dad had to have in the kitchen until I met Danny,” explains Kerry Browne, owner of Browne’s Irish Marketplace. “Danny has a love affair with coffee. He has introduced the passion for coffee to this city. I want to learn more about it. It’s fascinating.”
The 1887 Blend
As a result of their friendship, Danny and John collaborated many years ago to create Browne’s signature blend—the 1887 Blend, named after the founding date. In addition to the 1887 Blend, which may be rebranded soon, Browne’s Irish Marketplace also serves the iconic Kansas City blend, Irish cream, The Holiday Blend and gift baskets that include different Roasterie products.
“I used to drink the 1887 Blend every day,” explains John McClain, who recently cut caffeine from his diet (but he is extremely interested in decaf!). “It’s rich and has a very bold flavor.”
“John won’t drink anything but Roasterie coffee,” says Kerry. “When we travel, even to Ireland, he packs it in his suitcase. Now that’s customer loyalty.”
The Future of Browne’s Irish Marketplace
What’s new for The Roasterie and Browne’s? Kerry has been dreaming up some ideas of her own to include a rebrand of the 1887 Blend, an iced Irish coffee on St. Patrick’s Day and even the construction of a coffee bar inside the store.
“As one of the oldest establishments in Kansas City, we have a lot of great connections,” says Kerry. “Other companies like The Roasterie oftentimes come to us to see what has kept us here so long. It’s all about trying new things and embracing new opportunities—whether you’re a business that’s 126 years old or 20. Although Roasterie has learned a lot from us, we have learned from them too. The Roasterie has Kansas City pride. They changed the Kansas City skyline. When it comes to Danny and The Roasterie, ideas always turn to action.”
We would like to thank Kerry Browne and John McClain of Browne’s Irish Marketplace for selecting and sticking with The Roasterie as their specialty coffee company for the past 20 years. It’s because of our first customers that we are experiencing the successes that we are today. A huge thanks to Browne’s—from its founders to its employees—for believing in The Roasterie and bringing delicious coffee to the KC Irish community!
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