If you’ve been—like I’ve been—lurking around Pasadena for long enough, you know that Jones Coffee Roasters isn’t new. You know that Jones has roots all around this city because your eyes light up whenever you see that familiar logo in a restaurant, store, or cafe. Because you’ve been hungrily watching that space inside Vromans’ for months now. What you may not know—as I didn’t know before sitting down with Mr. Jones himself—is just how deep those roots go.
Jones Coffee Roasters didn’t begin on Raymond Ave or inside the now-defunct Soda Jerks on Fair Oaks; it began at Finca Dos Marias, the 3,000 acre farm in Guatemala that’s been in Jones’ family for 150 years. Perhaps this long and deeply ingrained coffee lineage is part of what sets Jones apart. There’s no gambling with Jones’ coffee—they’re constantly tasting and testing to make sure that you’re going to be happy with whatever you choose. That consistency and commitment to quality gained the company an immediate cult following.
The seeds of an offbeat sense of community surrounding Jones seem to have been sown when their first coffee cart on Raymond wasn’t legally allowed to have seating. Customers didn’t care. They brought their own chairs, and they left them there, knowing they’d be back soon enough to sit and chat. The seating at Jones was suddenly made up of mismatched chairs, and the theme has stuck. Now not only are the Raymond and Colorado Blvd store fronts populated by mismatched furnishings, but the latest Jones logo features two different chairs “in conversation,” as Jones puts it.
Jones has been simultaneously building a retail community while weaving wholesale partnerships with Pasadena and surrounding area businesses for years. Jones, Europane, Homeboy Industries, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Julienne, the list of well-known names in delicious, delicious cahoots with one another goes on and on. And now, in a move that’s created the dream compound of many loyal Pasadenans, Jones has taken up residency inside Vromans Bookstore. Aptly named The Next Chapter by Jones Coffee Roasters, the shop is currently in a soft-opening period and keeping the same hours as the book store it inhabits…but that may change in the future. The space draws inspiration from both the Raymond location and from Vromans. If you’re already a Jones’ patron, you’ll recognize the faces behind the bar (and soon enough there’ll be local artwork along the walls) though the aesthetic here is a bit more modern, and the color palette pulls from shades found inside the bookstore. The bakery case is stocked with pastries from Homeboy Industries, and in the near future they’ll have a wider menu including made-from-scratch tamales.
And if after all that, your primary question is still, “Yeah, but will there be wifi?” rest assured you’ll be able to get your fix via the Vromans network. Jones, who’s been weirdly accused of being “anti-wifi,” is simply decidedly, “pro-people.”
The Next Chapter by Jones Coffee Roasters is located at 695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena 91101. You can follow them on social media @thenextchaptercoffee —and don’t forget about the original Jones Coffee Roasters, @jonescoffeeroasters. The Next Chapter is also accepting furniture submissions until February 29th- if your chair becomes a part of the decor, they’ll engrave your name on your donation and treat you to a $25 gift card.