JJ Bean 25th Anniversary - History (Pt 2)
"After 6 years working with Nestlé, I wanted to get back to my roots of leading a family business. In 1996, I purchased the Coffee Roaster from Pat and Linda and renamed the company JJ Bean, Vancouver’s own Microroaster. Pat and Linda Graf started the Coffee Roaster in 1984 when they took over from Upper Canada Tea and Coffee on Granville Island. They expanded to the Powell & Victoria location in 1990. Pat had a tremendous palate and knows a lot about coffee roasters. Not only did he service our roasters for many years, but he also built our Commercial Dr and Main St stores. Pat’s relationship to JJ Bean has been a true gift to me over the years.
Milan Krgovich was Pat’s roaster and he agreed to stay on with the new company. Soon thereafter we moved to roasting with probes versus sight roasting using what is known as the Agtron style of roasting as taught by Carl Staub. Milan was our full-time lead roaster for 18 years and in the last 7, he still acts as a backup roaster and helps us with roaster maintenance 4 times a year.
Aaron De Lazzer was one of our first café managers but more than that he had a passion for all things coffee. For Aaron, it wasn’t just the flavour of the espresso shot; he saw coffee as a mystical, transcendent experience. His way of teaching inspired many in JJ Bean to pursue excellence in specialty coffee and to share it passionately with others. This became the basis of what we have been doing ever since. So much has changed in the last 25 years but we recognize Aaron as that starting point of one of our key cultural values.” -- John Neate Jr.
This was the era of dark roasted coffee! A toast to dark roast!
Our Powell St location on the junction with Victoria Dr was once an old CIBC bank, we rooted out these old photos, the Princeton Hotel across the street has remained quite the same!