"We are a roasting family," says Joe Wells, founder of Island Joe's Coffee in Key West. And it's more true now than ever.
Island Joe's, which started out as home roasted coffee sold at the Shell gas station in Marathon that Joe owned for about three years, is now a full-blown coffee roasting company, winning top reviews from the world's top coffee critics, and sold in major stores. And more than ever before, the kids are the ones running the business. Brandon, age 17, a senior this year at Key West High School, has spent his summer roasting coffee, rolling out of bed at 6 a.m. when needed to go to the Fleming Street coffee shop and work at roasting coffee beans to fill orders. About three years ago, he developed a coffee called Beemers Breakfast Blend. It's now one of the top-selling Island Joe's coffees. And he's also now handling some of the small company's big accounts - including the Whole Foods account.
Brandon, his father says, was the first one to push the start button on the new roasting machine he bought in about 2005. And at about age 10, he was the one at home with his father when Joe Wells first started experimenting with roasting his own coffee.
"My goal would be for Brandon to run this whole thing," says Joe. But Brandon would have help.
Joe's daughter, A.J, age 13, also works at Island Joe's Coffee, helping Brandon bag whole roasted beans to be shipped out to customers, and working behind the counter in the café, making specialty coffee drinks and serving sandwiches.
And then there's Trey.
Trey Wells is a 21-year-old college junior at University of South Florida in Tampa, where he's majoring in accounting. But he's taken the reins of Island Joe's Coffee in a big way over the last couple of years. He's the president of the company, and works in the business full time during the summers, handling the accounts with Publix, Sysco Foods and Winn-Dixie.
Are the boys coffee drinkers? Sometimes. They don't drink it every day, they say. But both Trey and Brandon have become adept at tasting coffee -- what's called in the business, "cupping." These guys know coffee -- how it's supposed to taste, what makes the foam on the top of the brewed coffee slightly reddish in color. And they can tell Island Joe's Coffee from any other coffee in the world, anytime.
The opening of the café at 519 Fleming St. in April of this year has given the second generation coffee roasters an added level of interest. Brandon, Trey and A.J. all helped design the menu, and each came up with one or two of the specialty coffee drinks - served hot or cold or frozen.
And the boys did most of the heavy lifting this spring when the business was moved from Southard Street to Fleming last spring. Trey was charged with designing a pipe that leads from the roaster, through an oxidizer, up through the roof, to let the steam out of the building. The café, says Joe, is just a start.
"In a year and a half I'll be franchised. We're building cookie cutter. That's what this is to us."
The second generation of Island Joe's Coffee, it seems, will never want for work.
Patch and Switch will be broadcasting LIVE from TechEd Europe. Listen in to their Geek Humour and comic banter about life as IT Professionals in the world of IT.
A pioneer of the Hip Hop Industry, Entertainment Mogul & Philanthropist Frank Ski visit Wealthy Sistas Radio to discuss the POWER of building and owning your BRAND.
Celebrity Psychic Michelle Whitedove is a world class spiritual medium, and the first legitimate psychic to prove her supernatural abilities by being tested on American Television. Lifetime TV named her America’s #1 Psychic .
A panel of influential voices from Cuba and the United States join in a discussion focused on the island nation.
Welcome to @GMBSports: NFL TRADE DEADLINE SPECIAL on TSCRN, starring Brandon Medeiros and Nathan DaSilva.
Nik Wallenda Takes on Chicago This Sunday
No Tether, No Safety Net, Just Nerves of Steel
On October 28, soulful and exciting trumpeter Joey Sommerville will release his fifth CD, Overnight Sensation -- a collection of songs on which he's been working since as far back as 1993! Talk about wanting to get it right!
The scariest of them all on Supernatural Girlz Radio. Listen in as Deborah Moffitt speaks with hosts Patricia Baker & Helene Olsen about a 25 year haunting by a demon who demanded a sacrifice. Who lived? Who died? And did anyone survive?
International best-selling and award-winning author T. Jefferson Parker joins Authors on the Air host Pam Stack for a discussion about his latest literary novel "Fill Measure", which has been hailed as the next "East of Eden".
The fallouts of the last 2 MMA shows Bellator 130 and UFC 179.
Lynda Cheldelin Fell and Angie Cartwright catch up with New York Times #1 bestselling author Betty J. Eadie, as she shares her compelling and inspiring near death experience with grievers everywhere.
Annie Kagan visits with Olivia Wilder to talk about her book, "The Afterlife of Billy Fingers," a true story about her brother's visitations from the other side.
Join Teresa as she welcomes Diane Helbig, International Coach and Business Strategist.
Caroline Sorokoff, Director of The Gold Coast Film Festival joins me today.
Join Chloe Taylor Brown, Lifestyle & Transformation Coach connects with Glenn Barker, Executive Director of The ManKind Project
Amy Newmark, the publisher and editor-in-chief for Chicken Soup shares stories of faith, divine intervention and answered prayers from Chicken Soup’s latest bestselling release, Touched by an Angel.
Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.
Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.
It's good to talk.