Virgin Hotels founder Sir Richard Branson announced the launch of a partnership with Laughing Man®, a brand co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman. It’s a partnership that will be brought to life by a new Virgin Hotels brand-wide concept called Funny Library Coffee Shop – a communal work space within each Virgin Hotels property that houses an assortment of whimsical yet inspirational books and ample room to work and recharge.
The first has opened in the brand’s newest property, Virgin Hotels San Francisco, and these cafes will eventually be housed at future Virgin Hotels, including the existing café space at the brand’s first property, Virgin Hotels Chicago. Laughing Man® coffee will be the exclusive coffee brand offered in the Virgin Hotels’ coffee shops.
The coffee shop will be serving two exceptional Laughing Man® coffee blends, Colombia Huila and Dukale’s Blend®. Uncommonly complex, with an intense deep-roasted flavor, black cherry sweetness, and a dark chocolate finish the Colombia Huila blend is a dark roasted coffee that originates from mineral-rich soils of Huila, Colombia. Produced from beans of great character, guests will enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee which flavors are dark, smoky yet sweet. Dukale’s Blend is a medium roast. Featuring a chocolatey body and notes of ripe plum, this blend is a tribute to Dukale – a man whose perseverance and unwavering optimism were the inspirational spark that started Laughing Man®. A cup of Dukale’s Blend delivers a rich, fruity and full-bodied taste and originates from Africa and Indonesia.
“I’ve followed Hugh’s work for years and I’ve been thrilled to see all of the support Laughing Man® Coffee Company is providing for coffee farming communities around the world,” said Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “Cultivating a civic-mindset is important to Virgin Hotels, and we’re committed to helping coffee farmers harvest quality coffee that we can ultimately serve to locals and hotel guests. Funny Library Coffee Shop is a distinctive yet friendly coffee house experience for anyone who will need a creative place to work, a place to meet or a place to simply relax.”
The Funny Library Coffee Shop concept will roll out across future Virgin Hotels, including Chicago, Dallas and Nashville later this year. Whether a communal worker’s dream spot or a to-go coffee counter experience, an ethos of fun will be felt throughout the Funny Library Coffee Shop.
Many of the books from the Funny Library Coffee Shop in San Francisco, Dallas and Nashville were sourced from local book stores. Books for Chicago outpost were curated by the improv famed comedy group Second City.
In addition to experiencing coffee by Laughing Man®, guests of the 194-room hotel and those in the area looking for a caffeine jolt, will have a place to relax or get some work done. Visitors will also have the opportunity to indulge in the grab-and-go station with San Francisco-style pastries and healthy, fresh light bites curated in partnership with local bakeries Craftsman and Wolves and Firebrand.
Virgin Hotels San Francisco, located South of Market just steps from Yerba Buena Gardens, will be the first property in the brand to house a Funny Library Coffee Shop powered by Laughing Man®. The design of the space brings natural lighting, with warm wood tables and a variety of sofa banquette seating arrangements that reflect the spirit of interactive playfulness.
All Laughing Man® coffees are Fair Trade Certified™ and a portion of sales supports the Laughing Man Foundation, whose mission is to support coffee farming communities and deploy programs, including access to higher education and housing improvements, that clear the way to health, growth, and success for coffee farmers and their families.