The San Diego community is filled with artists and creatives that make the city truly unique in itself. Not only is our founder / designer Jen based in S.D but we've been shipping our Noble goods from this area for the past 6 years.
Today we chat with co-owner Carina of James Coffee Co.— a local speciality coffee shop that began in 2014 that has multiple locations across San Diego area. We chat with Carina about her story, rocking our latest Prairie Print!
Carina & Maxine wearing matching Franny Dresses in our Noble x Jordan Barton Prairie Print
Where are you based in San Diego and how long have you been here? (your family & businesses) Our business, James Coffee Co., has several locations throughout San Diego County, but the flagship store is in Little Italy. The Little Italy store has been open since 2014. We used to do everything out of that location, roast, have offices there etc. We are about to open another coffee shop in Escondido, which is also where all of our production is. My family is based in Alpine, CA. We used to live in Julian, which we loved but with my daughter getting older and going to preschool, we moved a bit closer to her current preschool which is in La Mesa. I am originally from Germany and moved to San Diego in 2015.
How long have you been in the coffee scene, what’s your favorite part of it? I moved to San Diego in 2015 and have worked in specialty coffee since then, so 7 years this year. I have learnt so much in the years working in the coffee industry. Most recently, my interest lies in the sustainability challenges in the coffee sector and how we, as a coffee roaster, can make business decisions that extend beyond our shareholders and consumers and have clear objectives for sustainable development in producing countries. We have adopted a combination of sustainability strategies that has given our consumers more transparency and I am excited to keep working towards becoming a more sustainable company in the future.
We hear you have pastry experience too, did that stem from working in coffee or has that always been something you’ve enjoyed? I have always had a passion for baking but I never went to culinary school or had any professional experience in baking. I’ve baked for family occasions for years, but only in 2020 started to consider a more professional route. We started looking for a new building at the end of 2020, as we had grown out of our roasting facility and needed something bigger. When we found a space that was quite large, we considered adding a bakery to our production. I started taking culinary classes and went to a viennoiserie course at the San Francisco Baking Institute in 2021, this was all in preparation of opening our own bakery. It was important to me to have as much knowledge as possible when we started designing the kitchen and started hiring our bakery staff. We are in our 2nd month of baking for our coffee shops. Everything we make is from scratch and it has been an extremely rewarding and challenging experience.
Your daughter Maxine and my daughter Sofia are so close in age and share the same spunk. What was it like transitioning to life as a mom and business owner? Any advice on how to prepare for our business owner mom friends who are expecting? Every working parent has to figure out what works for them, their family and business. I think really understanding your families’ priorities is important, not just mine as a mom but also my daughter’s.
I can’t always make it for preschool pick up but I know how important it is to her, so I try to make it at least once or twice a week. I work shorter days or catch up on work after she’s gone to sleep that day but it’s 100% worth it.
My husband and I have Friday night dinners where gets to sleep over at her grandparents house and it’s just the two of us. That time “off” is important to reconnect as a couple and as business partners. We can talk at length about work issues or enjoy watching a movie. These things work for our family and it makes me a better mom and business owner.
Find the balance that work for you and your family.
What are some of the local spots to frequent you & Maxine frequent? One of our favorite spots in San Diego is the Little Lion. Maxine just turned 4 and is now at this great age where she actually enjoys sitting at a restaurant with me. We also love going to the Nat and spending time in one of the many parks San Diego has to offer. Our current favorite is Estrella park in Spring Valley. Most days though she will ask to go to “our coffee shops for a treat”
What do you love most about being part of the San Diego community? We are extremely fortunate to live in a place like San Diego. For how big San Diego is, it still feels like a small community. There are many amazing small businesses and artists and everyone is so collaborative.
CONNECT WITH JAMES COFFEE CO HERE: INSTAGRAM & WEBSITE
Win up to $200 in prizes!
In honor of this feature we're hosting a special giveaway with James Coffee Co! One lucky winner has a chance to win:
James Coffee Co. - $100 Gift Card
Noble - $100 Gift Card
Enter before Friday July, 8th @ 11:59pm PST and winner will be announced Saturday AM. Happy entering! *U.S based only.