From the start of their marriage, Steve and Embry Munsey discovered that their life was centered on community.
Coffee has become the perfect ingredient to achieve this.
As the manager of a Starbucks in Irvine’s Quail Hill neighborhood, Steve nurtured relationships with customers and later those regulars encouraged him to start his own cafe.
The Munsey family started down this path about a decade ago, and it led to the creation of their own business at Jedidiah Coffee.
Although Jedidiah Coffee remains without a physical coffee shop location, the craft coffee company is gaining a foothold in Laguna Beach through community gatherings and pop-up events.
The couple were guest speakers Thursday for the Laguna Beach Business Club breakfast at Seven7Seven, where they shared their passion with other business leaders in the city.
This passion came through loud and clear when Steve and Embry began advocating for a high-end craft coffee, aiming to dispel the notion that all coffees are the same by looking at the details of a menu. drinks.
“There’s a ton of craft beer options, then downstairs you have hot chocolate, hot tea and coffee, right after that – coffee is coffee,” he said. “That’s so not true. Coffee is not just coffee. … Coffee really is like wine.
He would prefer you to be upfront with him as well, telling those at the meeting that he insists customers complain if they find anything wrong with his coffee.
Jedidiah Coffee isn’t just any name either. The business is named after the Munseys’ second son, who died at the time of his birth.
Embry Munsey said the name was a suggestion from a close family friend, and while it can be bittersweet at times, it was nice to be able to see and hear his name.
By choosing to honor their late son in this way, Embry said it gives more incentive to pursue that dream. They have been roasting coffee beans for 2 and a half years and have been operating their own roasting studio at 2177 Laguna Canyon Road for a year.
The community is where it all begins for the happy couple. Steve and Embry, both 38, met in Sydney, Australia, and they got married when they were 21.
Now they are firmly rooted in the Laguna Beach community. Their three children, Zealan, 14, Gideon, 8, and Liberty, 5, are all attending classes in the Laguna Beach Unified School District.
“Zealan has been there to hear us talk about it all these years, and now we joke about it, ‘Well, now you’re going to be old enough to actually work there with us,'” Embry said. “He is 14 years old and he wants to make muffins. It’s been part of the process of hearing and seeing us talk about all these different ideas over the past 10 years.
Embry said its goal is to become a community gathering place, a person’s third destination of the day, along with their home and place of work.
“What we would like is a big place…because we want to be that place where people can come and sit and stay and congregate,” Embry said. “We want to have a meeting space. … We want to have a space in our cafe where we can hold workshops or educational meetings with our local nonprofit partners.
She added that they have collaborated with organizations like the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach Little League, Friendship Shelter and Waymakers.
As their social circle continues to expand, the folks at Jedidiah Coffee have been able to serve the community through some pop-up locations, most recently at the Marine Room since December. They previously operated in this capacity at the Vietnamese restaurant Another Kind Café.
Attendees asked the Munsey family a variety of questions ranging from the “shelf life” of coffee to how best to find out about their upcoming events. They also received praise from Peter Chang, general manager of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
“I saw these guys in the community,” Chang said. “They are non-stop. They are everywhere. It’s really about building a community. They really want to be part of Laguna Beach and the surrounding area.
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