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Java Jive finds a home

Dave and Jaime [pictured] Jackson are the owners of Java Jive, a new coffee shop and roastery. Their journey in coffee started in Waupaca, took off in Inner Mongolia and now they opened a shop after online success. James Card Photo

Journey into coffee roasting

By James Card

Java Jive is the city’s newest coffee shop.

Located at 120 W. Union St., it’s next door to Stange’s of Waupaca and across from Matthews Tire.

The inklings of this business started in Waupaca, evolved in Inner Mongolia, found success online and now it finally has a brick-and-mortar identity.

Dave and Jaime Jackson are the owners and both are musicians so the coffee shop and roastery has a musical motif. A line of guitars hang on one wall and clipped to them is their drink menu that ranges from various specialty coffees to frappés, lotus natural-energy drinks, frappes, ciders, chai and matcha.

On the walls are vintage vinyl LPs and 45s from Decca, Columbia and RCA.

There is a side room that can be reserved for private gatherings and in the future it will be soundproofed for music lessons with local instructors.

It was music that got Dave – a guy who disliked coffee – interested in coffee. A friend of his owned a coffee-music shop and asked if he could teach guitar lessons there. He agreed and it was there that he first experienced what well-roasted coffee was all about. He also ended up learning and taking on barista duties.

Both of them were teachers and they were recruited by a Chinese man starting an English-language school in Hohhot, the capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China. When he learned that Dave had barista experience, he proposed setting up a coffee shop in the lobby of the school and asked him if he could help launch it.

Learning to roast coffee

“It was trying to find good coffee there. It was six months old. It was terrible because they are not a coffee culture. But we could find green beans there so my husband taught himself how to roast coffee using Youtube videos while overseas,” said Jaime.

They got both the English school and coffee shop up and running and returned home to Waupaca. They bought a small roaster for home use. Friends encouraged them to make more and sell it.

They started in 2019 by word-of-mouth and eventually sold their coffee online while working full-time jobs. Their business kept growing and it was time to move to a bigger place.

Their two teenage children work at Java Jive and help out.

“So it was like this accidental entrance into the coffee world. It was a matter of him [Dave] not liking coffee and learning how to roast coffee that actually he would like and finding out a lot of other people like that, too,” said Jaime.

Their coffee is fresh-roasted daily from beans sourced around the world. They deliver bagged coffee locally for free in the 54981 zip code and their coffee can be ordered online at www.javajiveroasters.com.

They are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. They are closed on Sunday.

Their top selling coffee is Black Gold and for a light-medium roast, Cream of the Crop.

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