Tony Collins wears many hats: music producer, vinyl collector, motorcycle lover, vintage clothing buff, and book publisher. With the opening of Deep, he’s added coffee shop owner and coffee roaster to his full c.v.
At Deep, set off a side street from the Vieux Port, a loyal bunch of locals and coffee-loving tourists from across the globe rub shoulders, savoring artisanal espressos vegan pastries. Convivial and cool, Deep could be at home in both Brooklyn and Venice Beach, two cities where Tony has lived. Luckily for us, he came back to where he went to lycée: Marseille
How did a music producer end up with a coffee shop…
Being a music producer and a DJ is somewhat solitary. You travel a lot and at gigs, you have people dancing in front of you, but you’re alone on stage. I was envious of the community at my local Brooklyn coffee shop. I wanted to create something similar—a friendly place to hang out. Like skateboarding and music (nb: two of my other passions) coffee is not just about the product, but the culture that surrounds it. I like both the product and the vibe of coffee.
..and a coffee roasting business?
“Quand quelque chose me plaît, je le fais à fond” (in french in the text). So I did barista training at NYC’s Irving Farm and torréfaction training at Lomi in Paris. At Deep, we have a produit pointu and ambiance detendu. We don’t have a mec moustache who has a holier than thou attitude about coffee. We love teaching people about brewing and about tasting notes and sharing roasts from us and shops around the world.
Why did you set up shop in Marseille?
I was originally going to open a shop in Brooklyn. Then, last June, while visiting my mom in Cassis, I ran into Guillaume, a friend from childhood (nb: Tony went to lycée in Mazargues.) He’s the brains behind Green Bear Coffee. He told me he had a space next to his rue Glandèves location where he wanted to start roasting coffee. I said, “why not open a coffee shop in the front?” since I saw Marseille was lacking in artisanal coffee shops that other cities have. And, of course, Marseille’s got the sun and the sea.
Tell us about the team.
Guillaume is the finance and paperwork guy while I’m more boots on the ground. We also partnered up with Davin, a manager at Green Bear, who is starting to import coffee from Burundi, his homeland. Together, we’ve done way better than I could have ever done alone.
Why vegan pastries and vinyl?
Everything at Deep is intentional. That book (nb: Cole Giordano Sibling Rivalry) is a skateboarding punk photo book that I helped publish. I’m a vegan so I worked with the guys at Oh Faon for months to perfect the vegan pastries like the Kong Bomb banana bread. I pick a “vinyl of the day” and sell records from two of my favorite vinyl shops Mr. Bongo and Vintage Voodoo. I love mixology, so I create weekly drink specials like the Dwayne. It’s a spin on a caffe leccese, the classic iced latte from Puglia that uses almond milk. I make ice cubes out of almond milk so the cubes don’t dilute the espresso.
Where did you get the name?
Deep is an attitude, a vibe. Deep is a style of house music. Deep is the color of coffee and its rich aromas. Deep is about feelings.
Text by Alexis Steinmann