We strengthen communities by expanding the definition of quality to include concerns about how our stuff is produced, purchased and promoted.
JUST TOO WEIRD TOO FRANCHISE
Bongo Productions LLC is a Nashville restaurant group that creates one-of-a-kind operations. The company was started in 1993 by Bob Bernstein, a reformed journalist, and a group of local investors with a plan to open a single coffeehouse. The company has since opened five other concepts, two wholesale businesses and two licensed operations.
ORGANIC & LOCAL
We are darn proud to be Nashville’s first and only certified organic coffee roaster and to buy our coffee directly from small-scale farmers at prices above the so-called Fair Trade price. We buy our coffee through Cooperative Coffee, a group of like-minded small roasters who banded together to create a new trading model.
We also buy a great deal of local dairy, meats and produce.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR ADDICTION
We have a track record of opening first of a kind operations in up-and-coming Nashville neighborhoods.
Bongo Java. Nashville’s oldest and most-celebrated coffeehouse opened on March 28, 1993 at 4pm.
Fido. Named “Nashville’s Best place for breakfast, lunch and dinner” by the Nashville Scene opened in 1996 in the then sleepy Hillsboro Village neighborhood..
Bongo Roasting Co. Nashville’s first and only certified organic coffee company started in 1996 buys it’s beans directly from small-scale farmers at prices above the so-called Fair Trade price. Our coffee is purchased through Cooperative Coffees.
Grins Vegetarian Cafe. Nashville’s oldest vegetarian restaurant and first Kosher certified restaurant opened in 2002. The menu includes flavors from around the world including Mexican, Thai and a tofu-take on Nashville hot chicken.
GamePoint/East Cafe. Our East Nashville cafe opened in 2000, way before this neighborhood was cool and features Bongo Java coffee, baked goods and homey sandwiches. This cafe now features a huge selection of board games to play and then purchase, if you’d like to.
Fenwick’s 300. A modern diner opened in 2014 that takes its name from Kevin Bacon’s character in the movie Diner and the score of a perfect bowling game, is part of the Melrose mixed-use development that revitalized the Melrose neighborhood.
Bongo Bakery. We’ve been baking our own desserts and pastries for years and also take orders for parties of most sizes. We recently moved our bakery operations into a commercial kitchen on Thompson Lane.
We became world-famous in 1996 when employee Ryan Finney discovered a cinnamon bun that looks remarkably like Mother Teresa. The NunBun was featured in media outlets around the world including NPR, The New York Times and (so we’ve been told) a Calcutta newspaper.
DRINK TWO CUPS AND DANCE AFTER BREAKFAST
Our mission of expanding the definition of quality extends to all we do around here. We know a whole darn great deal about coffee and food and have built a multi-million dollar business. While we take what we do seriously, we take ourselves and our industry much less so. There is a whole bunch of showmanship out there. We believe much of that is just that: show. We believe it’s way more important to buy great-tasting coffee that doesn’t mess up the environment from farmers who desperately need the income to feed their families and hold on to their small plots of land.
And as much as we want the whole world to drink Bongo Java coffee and eat our food, we believe that it’s more important to go home at night and be with our families. Thus, we’ve limited our growth to unique projects, we discourage our employees from working more than 40 hours and the head of the company drives his kids to school nearly every day.