Later this year, a new coffee shop is coming to San Diego called Ladies & Gentleman Coffee. A cafe concept in the works by Joshua Bonner and his wife Hannah Bonner. A new model in that they will not only roast their own coffees, but also feature a new roaster from around the country each month.
The Bonners want to promote approachability right down to the layout of their shop with low countertops; an environment that promotes interaction, invites questions and conversation. They'll offer classes and workshops for those who want to join them on a journey through the world of coffee. Their cafe will also be a gathering place for conversation, or a pleasant environment where one can just meditate with a good cup of joe. We sat down with the Bonners to learn more.
Joshua David Bonner spent his school days as a kid in and out of coffee shops doing homework assigned by his parents while missionaries in Peru. None were good enough to note until he came across Cafe Verde operated by, "An old-school Intelli-guy." That's where his relationship with coffee began.
His first experience serving coffee came when his Dad approved his request to do a mini-build-out for serving coffee on campus of the Bible College where his Dad taught. From there he worked at many coffee shops over the next few years. Learning what worked and didn't with each business model. He learned a lot while working for Portolla Coffee Lab in Orange County back in 2011, which he calls "Genius" when it comes to business.
"I've definitely learned how not to do business and how to hire people," said Bonner.
He met his wife, Hannah, in Murrieta at a retreat center doing coffee training and quality control. He started her on her journey in coffee. She admits she was more of a tea person before meeting Bonner.
Later, Bonner followed Hannah to San Francisco, where she attended San Franscisco State and received a degree in Business while he continued his coffee education working at Stanza, a multi-roaster cafe, and Blue Bottle simultaneously. Along with 6 of his fellow Stanza mates, he competed in the 2013 Brewers Cup. Three out of six winners that placed were all from Stanza. Josh placed 6th. Quality execution was the skill he honed and took pride in while working at Stanza. He found Blue Bottle's service model to be excellent at a high-end, and their success tells that story alone. He's taking all he learned and incorporating it in Ladies & Gentleman Coffee.
A name Joshua Bonner said identifies with "Dedication to service and quality. We want to be kind, respectable--Ladies and Gentleman to our customers."
The Bonner's vision is to help grow the specialty coffee scene in San Diego. He's noticed that a lot of businesses have a, "If it's not broke, don't fix it mentality." They hope to stand out by breathing new passion into execution and service like other notable local businesses are doing,
"Polite Provisions, Coffee & Tea Collective, Bottle Craft and Gym Standard. They have passion. They're goal is to do what they do really well." said Bonner.
The Bonners believe when you're focused and passionate about something it has a viral effect, in a sense, inspiring others to do the same. We have to agree.
Bonner showed off his passion and skills at the first Season of Latte Art Throw-downs in San Diego this year. He took some risks, but remained a top contender all season. Those risks and that passion translated into the Grand Championship where he took home a Baratza Encore Grinder and a full Hario brew-bar kit.
He and Hannah have been working hard moving their plans forward, and are currently serving coffee to their Church while trying to nail down the perfect location in Golden Hill. They plan to serve Espresso with the choice of 3, 6, or 10 oz. of milk. They will have pastries, San Francisco Toast, and an assortment of teas and hot chocolate. If you'd like to help them kick-start their cafe project, learn more via their kickstarter video here. You can also view their photo gallery here. And follow their progress on Instagram here.
If you're opening, or you're in the process of opening a new cafe or roastery in San Diego, we want to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More photos supplied by the Bonners, taken by joelbearstudios.com