I made an overnight trip to Charlotte last weekend. It’s only a three hour drive, but I like to treat myself to Special Coffee whenever I have at least an hour’s drive. On the way there, I stopped at my local coffee place, Electric Beanz. But on the way home, I didn’t really know where to go to get a nice cup of Special Coffee. My parents are tea drinkers, so they weren’t much help. Sorry guys.
I turned to Edith, who is The Beloved’s GPS. I asked her to find me a local coffee place, and Java Jeff’s Coffee and Tea popped up a mere 1.1 miles from my parents’ place.
God Bless Edith, she has no idea what kind of shop she’s sending folks to. I asked her to find places with “Coffee” in the name, so that’s what she did.
Four minutes after leaving my folks’ house, I pulled up in front of Java Jeff’s. There were cars parked outside, which I thought was a pretty good sign, but it was tucked away on a back road in a mixed business and warehouse district. This did not Bode Well, but I entered and peered around the corner to where a lovely lady sat behind a cutout window in the wall, like a bank teller without the bulletproof glass.
Although I was pleased that they did not feel the need for bulletproof glass, I did realize right away that I was not in a coffee bar. The Nice Lady—Java Jeff’s wife Teresa, as it turned out—explained that they were a coffee wholesaler and sold to restaurants and other coffee shops. She apologized, although she had nothing for which to apologize. If anyone needed to apologize, it was Edith.
Rather than stalking off to go berate Edith, I told Teresa that I had probably ended up there for a reason, so we chatted for awhile. She tried to think of local coffee shops that were more or less on my way back to Raleigh. Sadly, neither she nor her husband could name one place. They said that local shops would open and then a Seattle-based chain would move in, install a drive-through, and put them out of business in short order. Sad.
As Teresa and I chatted, her husband, Java Jeff himself, emerged from the back. It was then that I realized this was a Golden Blogging Opportunity. I might not have my special coffee, but I was talking with two special people, and that almost always trumps Special Coffee.
Jeff Carroll has been a coffee roaster for 36 years. He started in business with his father, and he and his wife have carried on the tradition, roasting in an out of the way location in Indian Trail, NC for the last 11 years.
One of Jeff’s convictions that stood out to me was his emphasis on connection to other coffee roasters, both corporate and individual, who influenced and helped him along the way. In fact, he feels such a responsibility to pay tribute to those who helped him pave his way that he just installed a wall of fame listing all his influences in the business. An integral part of Jeff and Teresa’s business philosophy is to continue to pay it forward, reaching back to help others who are just starting out.
I inquired about direct-to-the-public sales, and Jeff told me that they are just setting up a website through which regular folks like you and me can purchase Java Jeff’s Coffee. As of right now, they only have a Coming Soon page, but do bookmark it if you are interested in trying some of Java Jeff’s custom roasted coffee. And if you can’t wait, you can just shoot Jeff and email.
Jeff and Teresa sent me on my way with a business card, a freshly roasted 12 oz bag of their French Country Roast, and a desire to spread the word about a hidden gem in the heart of Union County, NC. In that spirit, please don’t forget to visit and like Java Jeff’s facebook page.
And how is the coffee? I made a cup for The Beloved and myself this morning. The coffee is rich, smooth with just a bit of acidity on the back end and a nice fruitiness that I had not expected from such a dark roast. Good stuff indeed.
The next time your GPS seemingly sends you on a wild goose chase, why not just go with it? She probably has her Reasons, and you might well end up with your own Happy Accident story to share.
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.
What sort of Happy Accidents have happened to you?