New Java Espress store set to open next month

Several Java Espress coffee cups sit on Shane Murphy’s office desk.

“You might be able to tell that I have a problem,” he says, laughing as he moves the cups out of the way.

This coffee problem, however, is a good one for Murphy to have considering he is the sole owner of Java Espress, a local drive-thru chain that serves coffee, smoothies, teas and soda.

“We are trying to make our company so that it’s more of an all-around beverage company, and not so much just coffee,” Murphy said, before stressing that Java Espress was about coffee first.

“I think coffee is a staple; it’s a product that people have a real liking to and they have their preferences, and you’re either good at it or you’re not, and we always want to be good at that,” he said.

Java Espress is currently going through a rebranding to become J.E. Beverage Company.

Murphy opened his first store in 1993. His eighth eastern Idaho store will open in March at 745 E. Anderson Street.

Murphy got interested in coffee in 1993 when his aunt in Coeur d’Alene told him to come visit because she wanted to take him to a coffee shop and try a peach latte.

“I go ‘what are you talking about?’ And so we go down there and sure enough I try this little peach latte and the thing’s amazing and I’m going this is really cool,” he said.

“So I started talking to this lady there. And I said, ‘Look I want to pay you some money for you to teach me how to do this. So what is it going to take. Just teach me, just tell me how, what, ‘cuz I want to take this and bring it to Idaho Falls,’ and she’s like sure. So I gave her 5,000 bucks and said here you go,” he said.

Murphy started to get involved in real estate and developing in 2000 and said he got sidetracked in that for awhile, but now is getting a second wind in the beverage business.

“I’m pushing harder,” he said. “We’re going to try and develop a lot more. That’s why we’re rebranding. We’re just trying to get a different look, a different vibe.”

Murphy said now the shops are trying to be hipper and appeal to millennials.

“We’re going to be a fun, hip place to go to, that isn’t stuffy and all professional, and is kind of out there, maybe edgy, and you’re going to get some of the funnest, greatest, edgiest products that we can serve without it being illegal.”

As a self-described coffee weirdo, Murphy loves to be a hands-on owner.

“I’ve been to Costa Rica and I’ve been to the farms, so I see the beans, so we kind of pick what we want, and we put them together so that we have a great product. Because it’s a certain taste profile that I’ve always wanted to have,” he said. “It’s a smooth-strong, meaning you can really taste the coffee, and it stays in your pallet, so when you get done drinking it it’s still there, so it makes you want more, but it’s not just knocking you dead.”

Murphy says the coffee is his favorite part of the business, but his second favorite part is the Java Espress family.

“We call it the java love, and we’re just a family,” he said. “We share it. We live it. We love it. We are in it together.”

Marcie Good is part of that java family, working as a manager at the Java Espress on Broadway.

She has been working for Java Espress for 17 years and said she’s stayed because, “I love this job. I love the interaction with people and the customers and just what we do, we bring a smile to people’s face every day and try to be the experience for them.”

Good’s favorite part of the job is the customers. She greets most of them by name while asking them about their day, their jobs, their families.

One of their regulars, Stormie Winterbottom, said she comes every day because it’s great coffee and great people.

“They know your order so they get it right every time and they’re fun to talk to and they’re very sweet girls,” she said.

Good said working at Java Espress has been the most rewarding job she’s ever had, and stresses that they really do have the best customers.

The two baristas working with Good, Sydney Corona and Kailan Johnson agreed that working at Java Espress doesn’t feel like work.

The three women navigated their small space like pros, chatting with customers, looking at pictures one customer showed them of what he did at work that day, joking with customers who were there for their second time that day, and just having fun at work while making their customers smile.

“We just meet the nicest people in here. The most unique people, everybody has a story and it’s just so much fun to learn about people in here,” Good said.

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Source: Business