MIAMI — Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, announces today the launch of a partnership with Laughing Man®, the brand co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman. 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. The partnership 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 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 will 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.
“I am thrilled that Laughing Man Coffee and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels are joining forces,” said Laughing Man® co-founder Hugh Jackman.
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 Nashvillelater 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. Enjoyable reading with a wink of cheekiness is also encouraged. 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, situated 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 envelops natural lighting, with warm wood tables and a variety of sofa banquette seating arrangements that reflect the spirit of interactive playfulness with an urban yet contemporary aesthetic.
For more information about Laughing Man®, visit www.laughingmancoffee.com
About Virgin Hotels
Virgin Hotels is a lifestyle hospitality brand that combines heartfelt service, straightforward value and a seamless, personalized hotel experience with the track record of innovation and smart disruption that Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Group has pioneered for over 40 years. Each property intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture, fusing with the local landscape and providing a vibrant and inclusive environment for travelers and locals alike. Virgin Hotels Chicago – named the “#1 Hotel in United States” in 2016, and “#1 Hotel in Chicago” in both 2016 and 2017, by the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Virgin Hotels San Francisco is now open. Locations in Nashville, Dallas, New York, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Silicon Valley, Palm Springs, Edinburgh, Las Vegas and others are to follow. Virgin Hotels continues to explore hotel and office conversions as well as ground-up development in cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, Seattle, and London.