Pasadena Coffee Entrepreneur to Divulge Secrets of Building a Booming Business From "the Grounds Up"

Published : Thursday, October 6, 2016 | 5:03 AM

Chuck Jones seen at one of his coffee shops. Image: Jones Coffee Roasters

Pasadena coffee entrepreneur will divulge his secrets of how to craft a booming business from the “grounds up” at a Friday event sponsored by Innovate Pasadena.

Chuck Jones — who owns two coffee shops and operates parent company Jones Coffee Roasters, a wholesale business that distributes coffee to schools, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants in the local area — said he’ll be talking about the mistakes he made during his 22-year coffee career to teach aspiring entrepreneurs how to successfully run a new business.

“One thing I’m going to talk about are the tools [we used],” Jones said. “Like using advisors and using the story of our family. The other area I will talk about is the human element. The human element, to the business, is becoming more of an endangered species and I think in the future the human element will be a huge competitive advantage.”

Despite being born and raised in Pasadena, Jones spent much of time at his family’s world-class coffee farm in Guatemala, according to his bio on During his final year of college, Jones and his older brother decided to borrow money from their Father and import coffee beans into the United States.

Jones went on to join numerous coffee associations and co-author the book “Achieving Success in the Speciality Coffee Industry.” He has even hosted PBS Frontline when they went to investigate the coffee crisis in Guatemala in 2003 and has taken part in NPR programs such as Market Watch about the commodity market, according to his bio.

According to Jones, he first noticed the human element in business is dwindling when his shops started receiving one-star reviews for not offering free WiFi.

“I don’t remember free WiFi being synonymous to coffee houses, but with [today’s] high sense of entitlement, it has,” Jones said. “I’m not a big fan of it.”

The talk is one in a series of Innovate Pasadena’s Friday Coffee Meetups focused on entrepreneurial topics. To attend the meeting, join the Meetup group and make a reservation here:

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