Jackie started roasting coffee in her boyfriend’s garage while attending school at Colorado State University. Jackie’s love of coffee and desire from a young age to open a cafe is what caused her to empty her savings account and purchase the commercial coffee roaster when she was just 20 years old.
Jackie’s plan was to spend a year teaching herself the craft, and then by the time she graduated from CSU she would be ready to open a cafe that featured a roaster right there inside the shop. Jackie admits however, that roasting coffee was MUCH more difficult then she had envisioned. It ended up taking her a year just to get the coffee drinkable!
After a year of practicing and raking up credit card debt, she was finally able to make drinkable (and delicious!) coffee and took it to the local Fort Collins farmers market. Unknowingly, Jackie sold coffee that very first week to the owner of a local coffee shop- Cafe Ardour. The second week at the farmers market that owner returned and said “That was the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Can you supply our cafe?” It was an unexpected twist to Jackie’s plan, but she soon became the exclusive roaster for Cafe Ardour.
Word quickly spread and without ever paying to advertise (she wasn’t even listed in the phone book!) Jackie had a full-time coffee roasting business on her hands. She laughs now thinking about how hard she worked that year- finishing up her college degree on time and starting a business. But she will be quick to tell you that she loves what she does and can’t imagine her life any other way.
Today, Jackie owns and operates Jackie’s Java out of a warehouse in Fort Collins. As the owner, she does a little of everything around the warehouse! If you stop in, you may see her working in the office or hear her on the phone with a customer. She also continues to roast a lot of the coffee, still mans a few of the farmers market booths, and does some deliveries when she can.
Her favorite part of the job is the sales. She says she never feels like she’s pushing anything on anyone, people want Jackie’s Java and she’s happy to supply it! Jackie says she loves the industry and meeting new coffee enthusiasts like herself. She belongs to a “Coffee Cult” – a club of roasters, exporters, farmers, and importers who work together to try and further the industry. Jackie also continues to travel to various coffee origins seeking out new small farmers to purchase from as well as exciting new coffees to import.
Jackie says her favorite coffee to drink varies a lot, but right now she’s a fan of the light roasts. They are refreshing instead of sour, which is something unique about her coffee and the way she makes it.
In the rare moments when she isn’t at work, Jackie likes to play with her dog and take him to the dog park, and in the winter she also loves to go snowboarding.