Jackie started roasting coffee in her boyfriend’s garage while attending school at Colorado State University. Jackie’s love of coffee and desire from a young age to open a cafe is what caused her to empty her savings account and purchase the commercial coffee roaster when she was just 20 years old.
Jackie’s plan was to spend a year teaching herself the craft, and then by the time she graduated from CSU she would be ready to open a cafe that featured a roaster right there inside the shop. Jackie admits however, that roasting coffee was MUCH more difficult then she had envisioned. It ended up taking her a year just to get the coffee drinkable!
After a year of practicing and racking up credit card debt, she was finally able to make drinkable (and delicious!) coffee and took it to the local Fort Collins farmers market. Unknowingly, Jackie sold coffee that very first week to the owner of a local coffee shop- Cafe Ardour. The second week at the farmers market that owner returned and said “That was the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Can you supply our cafe?” It was an unexpected twist to Jackie’s plan, but she soon became the exclusive roaster for Cafe Ardour.
Word quickly spread and without ever paying to advertise (she wasn’t even listed in the phone book!) Jackie had a full-time coffee roasting business on her hands. She laughs now thinking about how hard she worked that year- finishing up her college degree on time and starting a business.
For nearly 17 years, Jackie worked tirelessly to make a name for this little Roastery, and has been found in Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Lucky's, Natural Grocers, The Cupboard, Jax Outdoor, and many other retailers all over the Front Range and beyond! During her time, Jackie was able to secure coffee contracts for Poudre Fire Authority, UC Health, Ball Aerospace, Pelican Lakes, Platte River Power Authority, New Belgium Brewing, and many other offices and small businesses.
In September of 2020, Jackie's Java entered a new era with the sale of the business from Jackie to a local Fort Collins couple named Chris and Stefanie Mecklenburg. Chris and Stefanie owned a local liquor store for nearly a decade, and when the time came to sell that business, they were introduced to Jackie by a mutual acquaintance, and knew Jackie's Java would be the perfect next step, (especially since they were already buying the coffee for their own consumption)!
The rest, as they say, is history! Jackie taught Chris and Stefanie everything she knew about roasting coffee, and that combined with their many years of retail experience means that this company will continue to grow, while always staying true to our Founder's vision. We will always be grateful to Jackie for her hard work and determination for all those years, growing this company into what it is today. Jackie is off living her best "Snow Bunny" life these days, and we wish her well.
Chris and Stefanie are "old school" when it comes to their coffee tastes, so they tend to lean towards dark roasts, or medium/dark blends mainly from Central and South American origins. Stef loves a dark Colombian, and Chris is partial to Guatemala.
In the coming years, Chris and Stefanie plan to expand our directly traded and organic/Fair Trade options by taking Origin Trips to visit coffee farms and source the best beans from small farmers whose methods are beneficial to the Planet; and by buying directly, we can ensure our support helps to better the lives and economies of the farmers and allows you to enjoy our coffee guilt free! Keep your eyes on the blog for future videos and stories from our farmers.
In our rare moments when we're not either at work or talking about work (ah, the joys of being business partners with your spouse!), you can find us in our 100 year-old Old Town bungalow enjoying quality time with our 3 rescue pets, gardening, and cooking. We also enjoy camping in our RV, travel (of course!), and collecting art.
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