March 13, 2015
JJ Bean on Cambie
Finally. There's a coffee shop along Cambie, near the Park Theatre, Black Dog Video (one of Vancouver's few remaining video outlets, and probably the best) and the wonderful women's fashion boutique, Cocoon.
Surprisingly, no one, apart from a Starbucks on the corner of Cambie and 19th, has found a way to set up an independent espresso bar along this busy Canada Line corridor.
The new JJ Bean opened recently and is having its grand opening this weekend. Staff are friendly and efficient, and the coffees at this location are nicely done indeed. It is what you will find at other JJ Bean locations; some nice, rich flavours, adequate crema, and served appropriately with a glass of water and a spoon. Why other places can't get this coffee-serving-basic right is beyond me.
There is a recurring theme at JJ Bean stores of blond wood and this location is no exception. There are several long tables for the laptop and tablet people with suitable electrical outlets. The Wi-Fi must be adequate because everyone, apart from Sherry and Jeem, seemed to be on a screen of some sort.
A drawback, and it may be temporary, is the lack of outdoor seating. The large windows open onto the street, and are seemingly controlled by customers, at least on the day of our visit.
A bonus on our day at JJ Bean on Cambie was seeing an old friend, or someone who reminds us of an old friend in Argentina, named Tommy.
Locally owned by the Neate family, JJ Bean, the company, aspires to ethical business operations, including the way it sources its coffee and rewards the farmers.
Last year JJ Bean contributed to a variety of causes, including $8000 to the not-for-profit Seeds of Hope Foundation in Guatemala which provides educational opportunities to women and children. Over $12,000 was donated to sponsor the education, and room and board of 10 girls in Kenya and Tanzania through the Canadian Harambee Education Society. The company also made donations to coffee growing co-ops in Guatemala and Peru to improve conditions for the workers and their families. Some time this spring, twelve JJ Bean staff will be building homes in Guatemala through Habitat for Humanity Canada. The company contributed $18,000 to the cause, and raised another $5,500 through customers donations. All that, and the bunch of donations it makes to local concerns, makes for an even better tasting coffee, wouldn't you agree?
Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2015.