The boonie hat is changing hands.

Boonie Hat Coffee in downtown Opelika is changing ownership from Luis Saavedra to Jim Bryson, owner of Market Street Paint Shop.

“Luis originally approached us about purchasing Boonie Hat Coffee shop, and it became a no-brainer,” Bryson said. “… We realized how much of a tag team we are for customer relations and food service. Since the coffee shop was already in the same space as Market Street Paint Shop, it made lots of sense to expand on our existing customer relationships.”

Bryson said he originally invested time and collaboration with Saavedra because he believed in his product — the coffee — and knew it was something people would like.

“We both love coffee, totally believe in the flavor and in Luis’ roasting expertise,” Bryson said. “Taking on the adventure of owning a coffee shop fits right in. Luis did such a great job building relationships, and keeping the ownership in house was a thoughtful offer on his part. It has been seamless for our customers because they saw me, Jim, in the shop every day, so a familiar face has been an easy transition, to say the least.”

People who love Saavedra’s coffee need not cry. The same coffee will be available, and the same flavors, just some new products.

“We are excited about expanding our menu with new featured items like the Red Bull smoothie, a peach drink, a strawberry pink drink, along with an assortment of frappes and other non-coffee drinks,” Jim said. “We have also added Wild Flour Bakery items that certainly match the level of the quality of coffee. If there is a menu item that you would like to see us add, we would love to have your input and suggestions.”

Bryson is recently married — as of January — and his wife, Diane, who is a fourth-grade teacher, now has an opportunity to be involved in the coffee shop as well.

So, there may be a new face behind the counter when you go to grab your morning cup of joe.

“Big changes with both my family and Jim’s family prompted me to approach Jim about buying the coffee bar,” Saavedra said. “Selling the coffee bar to Jim allows Diane to be a part of the business. She has a lot of experience running successful restaurants, and this is right up her alley. She has a lot of great ideas in the works already.”

Oh, and by the way, the name of the coffee shop is changing, too.

“We have officially changed the name to Market Street Coffee Shop,” Bryson said. “In the next few weeks, we will be transitioning the store to reflect that.”

If you’re nervous about not seeing Saavedra anymore, don’t fret.

“Market Street Coffee Shop will still be using great products from Boonie Hat Coffee Company,” Bryson said. “Luis will still roast and manufacture pops for us. He will still be roasting in our shop on a very regular basis. If you’re used to seeing Luis in the shop, you’ll continue to see him from time to time.”

Of course, it won’t be as often, which Saavedra said he will miss.

“I like meeting new people, getting to know the returning customers and making them feel at home,” he said. “Serving people a fabulous cup of coffee brings me joy. I will still be a regular at the coffee bar, since they will be serving Boonie Hat Coffee roasted on-site. … They not only bought Boonie Hat Coffee’s espresso bar equipment, they also kept on my baristas, and they bought my coffee drink recipes. I will also be providing our Boonie Hat Frozen Pops and doing coffee catering for local events.

“… Every day was a new adventure behind the coffee bar. Conversations with veterans, cowboys and cowgirls, lawyers, college students, first responders, ministers, businessmen, landscape laborers, CEOs, rock stars, federal agents, the terminally ill, conspiracy theorists, politicians — all were people I got to serve coffee to. It was important to me that each customer be treated the same no matter who they were. The most difficult part is removing myself from those interactions.”

Bryson said Saavedra’s coffee is some of the best he’s ever had.

“There is great satisfaction in offering customers the best coffee I’ve experienced in the U.S.,” he said. “Plus, I have the bonus of getting amped up on really good coffee every morning. It is certainly our happy place to enjoy a great conversation over our cup of joe.

Saavedra said that Bryson knowing the history of the shop — from its origins that go back to Saavedra’s time in the military, to its start in Opelika — helps put the former owner at ease about the transition.

“He knows and appreciates the history of how Boonie Hat Coffee came to be,” Saavedra said. “My search to find a smooth cup of coffee, the secret ingredient in our house-made Mexican Vanilla creamer and coffee’s ability to provide common ground for people with radically different beliefs and world views. Like me, Jim’s an adventurer and brings his own set of experiences. The coffee bar I helped start is in capable hands.”

Saavedra said he will be focusing both on his family and his business.

“[I will focus on] being a homeschool teacher for my son,” he said. “Second, I’m supplying coffee to multiple shops now. I will be marketing my business a lot more as I transition from a retail store to a wholesaler and caterer. I have something big in the works with our frozen pops business.”

Market Street Coffee Shop, formerly Boonie Hat Coffee Company, is located at 116 S. 8th St. in Opelika.