There's been a huge number of special moments in and around Jubilee over the last five years of operating, and I'd really like "Our Story" to impossibly capture the essence of the journey... weddings, renovations, loads of beautiful coffees, new locations, plumbing issues, days of immense community celebration, years of monthly free coffee, days of community mourning, travels, best friends, global friends, vandalism, freakin covid, more beautiful coffees, more plumbing issues, small business community resiliency, family and friend support, and so on and so forth... There are so many things that make Jubilee particularly and irrefutably Jubilee, and we'd like to welcome you to that journey.
In 2015 I was living in my van in Boulder, CO trying to get through my last semester at school while saving as much money as possible. A few last entrepreneurship classes, a guitar building class, and some ceramics classes wrapped up one of the most creative and free semesters of my life. To top off the van living and excellent class schedule, I also met the love of my life, Margo, who I would marry a few short years later.
That winter, my game plan was to graduate, ride my bicycle to San Diego where I would get an entry level marketing job and live with some friends (conveniently located right next to a great surf break). But when my Dad called me to say he found a warehouse in Aurora for cheap, I knew my romping plans were starting to change.
Coffee had always been a dream, but the economic viability of a small coffee shop/roastery was... suspect at best. Home coffee roasting, cupping, and geeking out big time over brew methods was one thing, but selling coffee for a few bucks and hoping to pay rent was another. Nonetheless, I decided that there was no better time to sleep on couches than the present, and Aurora needed a coffee shop to gather, meet, and drink locally roasted coffee. That cheap old warehouse in Aurora (once used for police stings in the 70's) was about to be home to Jubilee Roasting Co.
The dream was really two fold: we wanted to roast and sell incredible coffee that made us happy, and we wanted to help North Aurora grow a community identity. While we've had a few brand identities over the years, the internal mission statement of "create well and be good neighbors" has remained an accurate distillation of the Jubilee dream. There have been many days of failure and many days of success. I've had many folks come through the doors as employees or customers and leave their fingerprints on the business, making us better and more human than before. We renovated our space in Aurora twice, opened a small new shop downtown, bought a bigger coffee roaster, changed logos twice, and finally launched a new website. Small business is a truly a beautiful hustle of grace and grit.
Here's what I'm looking forward to: One of the best parts of maturity has been that our ability to support good people doing good things through sourcing coffee gets stronger and stronger. We get to purchase coffee from some of the same farms every year, and grow mutually beneficial ties across continents, while simultaneously connecting with new people doing incredible work all over the globe. The coffees that show up in our online shop arrive after many hands put hours and hours of work into making them beautiful. Growing and maintaining those relationships will be at the forefront of our future, and you're invited to join in on the continued journey.
A few bonus photos from over the years: