It might not be possible to meet someone more enthusiastic about the power of the bean to ‘bring people together’ than Clint Wolter, the founder of Durban’s Jackonsville Coffee outlets. We pulled up a chair, ordered one of Jacksonville’s signature Zim Shots, and got the lowdown from Clint…
Explain the Jacksonville ethos…
Jacksonville was birthed out of a few things. Obviously a passion to make consistently top quality coffee was first and foremost. But it’s about more than that. It came from a desire to bring people together. There is something about sitting with someone over a cup of coffee that just seems to bring a unity, even an openness. We love seeing people connect, chat, laugh, and create in our shops. Whether it’s a business meeting, old friends catching up, or new friends breaking the ice while enjoying their favourite cuppa. We love to see something of community being built.
On the other hand, coffee can simply be a tool for a task. Sometime, you just need that extra special ‘kick’ to get the job done. So we also make space for that at Jacksonville. For example, sit down with a laptop and a Zim Shot, and all of a sudden…well, anything’s possible!
On that note, much of what we do is for corporates. Many companies have seen the value that coffee brings to both productivity and a sense of staff wellbeing and community, and we help them to outwork that in their various contexts. Whether it be creating coffee bars in their workspace, or having our mobile coffee setup at a corporate function.
Even our name Jacksonville has incorporated our desire for that feeling of community and togetherness: ‘ville’ meaning village, neighbourhood, community, a place to gather… and ‘Jackson’… ok well, that’s the name of our son!
Tell us about the various coffees you sell?
We haven’t tried to be too fancy at Jacksonville, and have focused on the drinks that can be enjoyed by the average coffee drinker and non-coffee drinker alike. However our barista will happily make the artisan drink of your choice, whether it’s a cortada, flat white or macchiato. On our menu you’ll find the cappuccino, Americano and latte, all available with a single or double shot.
What’s your signature coffee?
This would have to be the ‘Zim Shot’: a double shot of espresso with condensed milk. Pretty much a match made in heaven.
Where and how do you source your beans?
We source our beans predominantly from Africa and we use 100 per cent Arabica beans. Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi are some of the countries of origin in our blend, though it can vary slightly depending on quality of crops, availability of different seasons and yields etc. But even with the occasional variance in the makeup of the blend, the delicious Jacksonville taste and quality remain consistent.
What are your most popular coffees?
Our most popular would have to be the good old cappuccino…and definitely iced coffee.
Describe the look you’ve sought to achieve in the interiors and with your branding…
Classic and simple, clean lines, natural woods, non-cluttered. We wanted to build a brand that would outlast the ‘latest trends’ while also incorporating some of those current design ideas. So our branding and logo are very simple and classic, and the décor of our shops varies from one location to the other, according to the style of its surroundings. You will however find a good dose of black, white and wood in the design of any of our stores, with pallet wood in one store and natural birch wood in another.
What else can customers expect?
Warm and friendly baristas, excellence in quality, and consistency. We never want someone to feel intimidated to come into our coffee shop. We want each customer to know that they are welcomed, valued and appreciated, and for them to feel a part of this ‘community’ that we are building.
What is it about coffee that makes you tick?
There is so much you can do with coffee, so you can never get bored! But our favourite thing about coffee is that it pretty much appeals to everyone in some form or another. You’ll find a cup of coffee in the hands of people from every age bracket and walk of life. At Jacksonville we get excited each time a new person walks through our doors in search of their favourite drink, and we trust that they leave as a satisfied friend of ours.
Jacksonville Coffee, Moses Mabhida Stadium and 10 Outlet Park, 59 Meridian Dr, Umhlanga, Durban
Text Leigh Robertson
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