Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters

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Located in a beautiful red brick building in the Walnut commercial area of the City, you will find a coffee shop with exposed bricks, high ceilings, and a gorgeous red industrial roaster inside giving off start-up vibes.  A favorite amongst locals, Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters serves up small-batch roasts to all kinds of coffee connoisseurs- both the espresso and latte loving. Retired business executive Ryan Hamlin founded Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters with his friend David because they wanted to share their love of coffee with Pasadena.  In the early days, roasting was somewhat cathartic and a bit of a hobby for Ryan.  In business now for 13 years, Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters has proved its staying power amongst corporate giants. Recently, Ryan sat down with the Future Yourself Here team to talk about Jameson Brown’s roots and how he went from roasting coffee in a popcorn machine to owning a successful business in Pasadena.

What is the Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters’ Story?

The story of Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters began with a birthday present, a popcorn popper and a bag of green beans. Coffee roasting started as a hobby for family and friends.  The requests for our homegrown roasts outgrew our popcorn poppers, but eventually germinated the idea of opening up a coffee business. In 2006, Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters opened in Pasadena. The heart of the shop is the roaster, which enables us to offer the freshest roasted coffee, which brings out coffee’s rich, complex flavors. 

Every Company Grows over time. How has Jameson Brown coffee Roasters’ Evolved?

In the beginning, we focused on roasting coffee. Then we began to offer espresso and develop our own recipes for espresso-based drinks. We also expanded the variety of pastries and other food items offered in the shop. The ability of baristas and roasters to interact and cooperate on developing roast profiles has been a great benefit. It has allowed us to fine-tune our processes, create unique drinks and roast excellent coffees.

What accomplishments are you most Proud of in the Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters Story?

There are a great many things that have happened but the two that come to mind for me are how the business has become a place for folks to not only gather but also share the experience of discovering coffee’s extraordinary flavor profiles. 

What is the biggest hurdle you have faced in launching your company?

In the early days, it was very difficult to find a location that would allow us to operate both a coffee roaster and a retail coffee business. We had to find the right combination of city zoning allowances and a willing building owner. It almost seemed impossible until we found our current location in Pasadena.  In the last year, we recently expanded our footprint to enlarge the sit-down café area of the business. With proximity to light rail and city college traffic, not to mention the locals and regulars, Jameson is an inviting place for coffee drinkers to settle in and chat awhile.  

The breadth of businesses and educational institutions that exist in Pasadena creates a dynamic set of opportunities for small business.  Pasadena has a strong sense of community and its residents have a deep appreciation of the city’s history. We could not imagine starting our business anywhere but here.  Pasadena is home in every sense of the word. 

What makes Pasadena an attractive place to do business?

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