I have to admit that I am a very picky person when it comes to food and drinks. Especially good coffee, in my eyes, has to taste like my moms, or at least a certain way. Nothing was ever better than my mom’s coffee. Unfortunately my mom lives on another continent and I always complain that the coffee I make at home just doesn’t taste as good, may it because of the water (we have a lot of calcium in our water) or the machine (which I bought cheap on Amazon).
I recently found a coffee shop that can compete with my mom’s coffee. The Beacon Coffee Shop on Olivia’s Park Drive in Ventura. Picky me, I didn’t want to go to the regular coffee chains and the name Beacon Coffee caught my interest.
I am now a regular guest there and drink my stomach friendly coffee with enjoyment. As I got to know the owners John and Jennifer more, I wanted to share my experience with you and prepared a little interview.
Jennifer, what made you decide to open a coffee shop here in Ventura and how long have you been running the shop?
John has been in the coffee industry since 22 years and I started in 2002 when we met at a coffee shop. We started in Ventura in 2010. At first, we were only a roasting company. That’s why we are in the industrial area. The ventilation here is necessary for our roasting machine. We decided to run a coffee shop and started to build out. It was so small, there was only one round table where customers were drinking their coffee and we were working [laughs…]. We expanded the wall to have space for tables and chairs. The pictures on the wall are from our trips.
Where do you get your coffee from?
We buy directly from farms all over the world. As we looked for good quality coffee, we travelled to all of the farms where we are buying from, looked into the process of planting and harvesting the beans and built great relationships with our providers. Our quality beans come from Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Ethiopia. Each year we travel to our supply chains and work closely with the farming community, which is a lot of fun.
What kind of water do you use?
To make good coffee, it is important to have the right mineralogy in the water. We have a water filter system that gives us the best water we need to make our flavorful coffees.
How important is the quality of menu to you?
Our customer base is very cautious of what they are eating and where it comes from. They are looking for high quality products. For our coffees, we make our own vanilla which we buy from a local extract company. The cacao we use is direct traded and organic, non-GMO, gluten and soy free. From the cacao we make a chocolate sauce fresh every day and use it in our mocha. Our milk is organic and/or gluten free. Our lavender mocha is made from home grown organic lavender and extracted with hot water. My good friend is a chef and he makes all the gluten free biscotti’s, bars and scones. Since he is gluten intolerant himself, he blends his own flour for the pastries.
If you were a customer in your own café, what would you order from the menu?
[laughs..]…I always take a black coffee and an espresso. No milk. My favorite are the lavender almond scones. They are so good!
What do you feel sets you apart from other coffee shops?
Since we started as a roasting company, we roast our coffee right on the spot. People can actually see the roasting process through the window and talk to John and me regarding any questions they have. For each customer, we brew the coffee fresh. People really appreciate to see where the coffee comes from and how it’s made, they enjoy the taste and feel welcomed through our good customer service.
Aside from your business, what are some personal hobbies or local activities you enjoy?
John and I love to explore new restaurants. We enjoy wine tasting and good food, travelling and live music. Our dog Parker always comes with us and we like to spend time outside.
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