As an Olympic gold medalist and four-time All-NBA player, the people of Miami know Jimmy Butler for the plays he makes on the basketball court. But soon, the Miami Heat forward might be just as famous for making his own coffee. The business venture started as a joke, but now the NBA player is supplying his brand of BigFace coffee to world-class tennis players in the Miami Open Players’ Dining Hall. The tournament takes place between March 21 and April 3 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida and features some of the best tennis players in the world.
Butler first came up with the idea for BigFace while isolated in the Walt Disney World bubble with other players, team staff and members of the media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inside the bubble, people paid for most of their needs with a wristband attached to a credit card. But they also received a cash allowance to cover meals and incidentals. When Butler realized he had a $20 bill with the rest of his money, he thought it would be fun to see how many other players and staff would use their $20 to buy a mug. of his coffee.
Butler charged his coffee-drinking customers money and said he didn’t give anyone change, even if it meant they had to spend $100 for a cup of coffee. This is where he got the idea for the name, BigFace – the slang term used to describe a bill with a larger presidential portrait on the front. When the players were allowed to leave the bubble, Butler decided to continue his coffee business. He even started researching brewing formulas and techniques to improve his coffee. Today, BigFace is a serious business venture. And Butler, who says he once hated coffee, now finds himself drinking nearly 10 cups a day. “I give Jimmy a lot of credit,” Butler’s former teammate Goran Dragic said. “He said he was going to learn everything he could about coffee and he meant it.”
Butler, who is a tennis fan, thinks the partnership with the Miami Open is a no-brainer. “I think when it comes from one professional athlete to another, and they see me constantly drinking BigFace coffee, they know I wouldn’t put BS in my body,” The butler said in an interview with the Associated Press. “And I know everyone is so aware of what they put into their body, as a professional athlete in any sport. I just want to help put the best in front of you, and you take it and run with it if you wish.
These days, Butler considers himself a coffee connoisseur and travels with his own beans and accessories to make himself the perfect cup. He says he hopes to one day open a BigFace outlet where he can make coffee drinks for his customers. “The perfect cup for me is the cup where I learn something about the people I have it with,” Butler said.