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Development News

Downtown Holland coffee shop set trend before coffee shops were cool

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

Fifteen years ago, when Jack Groot founded JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar in downtown Holland, coffee shops weren’t on every corner in every town, and they didn’t have the aura of “cool” they have now. Groot had a vision to serve great coffee and baked goods, and his entrepreneurial ideas didn’t stop there.

Groot also owns Midwest Barista School, On Track Coffee Consulting, and writes a regular column, Jack’s Blend, for the web site Specialty Coffee Retailer. But his biggest source of pride is that the coffee shop is a friendly place where friends gather.

“I just wanted to create a place where friends could gather, have a good cup of coffee and enjoy some goodies that go with it,” Groot says. “I always felt we would be successful, but in the first few years as we really grew I didn’t know we’d grow as big and fast as we did. “

JP’s serves fresh baked goods, baked by Groot’s sister, Rita DeBoer, twice a week. Besides the usual breakfast muffins, pastries and the bagels ordered from a local bagel shop, JP’s offers seasonal goods including apple cake, cheesecake, brownies—even blueberry buckle.

“Rita bakes twice a week all day,” Groot says. “People walk in and want something and she says, ‘I just pulled it out of the oven, give me a minute and I’ll get it for you,’ so some things are going directly from the pan to the customer’s plate.”

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, on November 23, the shop will be offering coffee at 1993 prices, free birthday cake, and free straight espressos and Italian style cappuccino between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m, plus employees will be encouraged to “be like Jack” by sporting mustaches, wire rimmed glasses, silk shirts and sandals.

Source: Jack Groot, JP’s Coffee and Espresso Bar

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

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