It all started on a cold Michigan morning in the heart of November, when a group of employees in a nondescript sales office found that they were running low on K-Cups.
With no one wanting to make a coffee run in the frigid weather, and with just enough K-Cups to last them through the week, they decided to order online. But on that fateful day, the inevitable question of “what flavor should we order?” resulted in a surprising answer that led us all to where we are today.
“After talking it over and going back and forth for, like 30 minutes, we all had to be real with ourselves,” says Stevie (operations manager for JOJO Java). “We all eventually admitted the harsh truth...we don’t really like K-Cups.”
Sure that plucky sales team loved the convenience, and yes they settled for the flavors available, but no flavors on the market truly stood out to them-- and none of the flavors were truly delicious.
During all of this, Joe Delfgauw, the owner of the sales office (thinking like an owner) remembered the delicious smell that he would experience every day on his drive into the office. As he would commute through the Michigan countryside, he would smell the most delicious roasting coffee aromas permeating through the air. He would always see a nondescript building in the distance but had never put two and two together.
“I know what we need to do,” Joe said to his sales team. And at that moment, he decided to take a chance that would lead to the creation of JOJO Java as we know it.
The next morning, on his way into the office, Joe took a detour attempting to find his way to the building that he saw in the distance each day. As he drew closer, the aroma of rich, delicious, coffee roasting was overwhelmingly wonderful. When he pulled into their driveway, he saw some small signage that read: “Coffee Roastery.” So Joe climbed out of his car, and as he walked through the frigid morning air, he could see his breath as he knocked on the door of the building… and opportunity.
The building was indeed a privately-owned Michigan-based coffee roaster. But it wasn’t just any coffee roaster. As Joe spoke with those who ran this roastery, he started to realize that they were one of the best-kept secrets in the coffee world.
Joe learned that the roastery hand selected only the finest beans available. By starting with these unique and exotic specialty beans, and using a time-tested roasting technique, it was simply some of the best coffee Joe had ever tasted.
Joe, being the visionary that he is, proposed a partnership. Working together, they paired the roastery’s unique quality of exotic beans and their roasting techniques with some flavor ideas from Joe. These weren’t run-of-the-mill flavors-- the roastery had never tried anything quite like them. Working together, the team crafted a totally new line of K-Cups that combined excellent quality with incredible, bold flavors.
Our company was born. JOJO Java was real, and we felt like we could conquer the world. But the story doesn’t end there… there were still some challenges ahead.
“So there we were. We had the quality, the unique flavors, and the ability to produce JOJO Java and bring it to retail so others could enjoy it. A no-brainer, right?” says Stevie.
Wrong. The problem was that stores didn’t want what we had. (Well, to be more specific, some stores would take it but on their terms.)
When we went to the major big-box retailers, the stores said “Sure, how quickly can you get us 50,000 boxes,?” Or “How many trucks do you have?” Or “Can you send us examples of your television commercials?”
We weren’t a million-dollar coffee company, so we didn’t have all of those things. And in terms of quantity, 50,000 boxes was an issue for us-- not because we couldn’t meet the demand, but because we knew that small batches were the foundation to our amazing flavor and freshness.
We simply didn’t want to mass-produce. Not the common path in today’s world.
Even after 10 or so big-box retailers telling us that they wouldn’t take us on where we were, we were still unwavering in our confidence that we had created the best tasting, most fresh K-Cup on the market, and that our flavors were unique and bold.
So in March 2020, we launched our online store, and started our bid as an online coffee company that’s fancy enough to be delicious, but not so fancy as to be inaccessible and snobbish.
But our story continues, and our journey is far from over! It’s a very David versus Goliath situation we’re in.
We learned quickly that a few large roasteries are responsible for almost 90% of K-Cups on the market, so right now we’re doing all that we can to stand out among the giants.
Even though we know we have the best-tasting K-cups available, when your market is dominated by a handful of billion-dollar beverage conglomerates who spend millions making sure they’re in consumer’s ears at any given moment, it’s an uphill battle. And yet we still climb.
While other companies are spending their massive budgets on marketing their mediocre coffee, we spend ours on ensuring quality and flavor. We make the cups that we drink, so of course we want it to be great!
With our feet firmly planted on the ground, we realized that launching our company online was the best option… and only the beginning for us.
We started to realize that coffee is a lot like cars-- everybody’s got their brand-- and we were becoming the preferred brand of more people than we ever imagined through our website.
And listen, let’s take a step back and be real. We get it-- at the end of the day, it is just coffee that we’re talking about here, right?. So we aren’t trying to take ourselves too seriously. We know that JOJO Java isn’t going to change your life, get you a fancy new car, or babysit your kids-- but is going to taste 100% better than any other K-Cup on the shelf. That’s why we get so excited.
JOJO Java is ethically sourced, fair trade, small-batch brewed, kosher, non-GMO, and calorie-free out of the container. And it is absolutely the most delicious K-Cups you’ll find.
Like we mentioned at the beginning of our fateful tale: JOJO Java was created by coffee drinkers, for coffee drinkers, because K-Cups used to suck… and now they don’t.
Try JOJO Java today, and join us on our journey to the most awesome coffee possible.
Written by: Tim Kearney