"Life is Too Short to Be Bitter"

The story of three brothers is as unique as their coffee blends

By Jack Gates
|  Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 7:27 AM PDT
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"Life is Too Short to Be Bitter"

The story of three brothers is as unique as their coffee blends.
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It seems coffee shops come and go in this struggling economy. But up against coffee giants, is one local coffee house that keeps percolating along and is even expanding this year.

Three siblings started Ryan Brothers Coffee with one coffee stand 17 years ago. Now the brothers have two coffee houses and are expanding to a third.

Tom Ryan, 46, Harry Ryan, 42 and Carmine Ryan, 40 are the Ryan Brothers. Unlike big coffee chains you won't find their shops on every corner.

"The mass-produced approach to food or coffee houses, you know the down side is it becomes more cookie cutter," said Harry Ryan.

The Ryan Brothers Coffee houses in Barrio Logan and San Marcos are anything but cookie cutter.

They search the world for the best coffees from South and Latin America, Indonesia and Africa. Then they grind the beans, package the coffee to sell to businesses and even brew each cup of coffee for walk in customers.

It's personal and hands on.

"It's not homogenized or invented in a corporate board room, this is very genuine and real and I think in today's world, that's even more important than ever," Tom Ryan said.

Also unique is that the Ryan Brothers blend their imported coffees to come up with locally inspired names like Coronado Moonlight, San Diego Sunrise and Old Town Mexicano. 

"We come through and connect in a way that gives somebody a nice luxury that's price sensitive to their budget," Carmine Ryan said.

The Ryan Brothers corporate philosophy is "life is too short to be bitter." They say that applies to work, coffee and every day life.

Even in past few years of a down economy, the Ryan Brothers’ business has grown.

"We're going to show up every day and give you the very best we can and then at the end of the day, I can go home and sleep with that,” Carmine Ryan said.

The Ryan Brothers will open up their third coffeehouse next month in Temecula.

They also offer special teas and cocoas. And talk about a family business -- the brothers' Mom and Dad also work at the stores.

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