JahVa Coffee Lounge + brings superfood lattes and reggae music to South Pasadena
JahVa Coffee Lounge + brings a cozy cafe with a healthy menu and an emphasis on roots reggae music to South Pasadena. Wife and husband owners Angela Vallée and Edwin Grabert have planned a pre-launch party for April 19. The grand opening will follow on April 20.
According to Vallée, she wrote a business plan for JahVa 12 years ago while graduating in marketing. The concept is inspired by her long-standing love for roots reggae artists like Dennis Brown and Peter Tosh, whom she remembers her father playing in the car as a child. But it wasn’t until she got pregnant with her and Grabert’s son Ocean that she really started to think about what Grabert had asked for on her business plan when they started dating. together: why don’t you do that?
Vallee, who has used local reggae shows and reggae festivals across the country to escape work, said she realized she didn’t want to be “chained to a desk” or that their 8 month old baby only sees her on weekends. She quit her corporate job in marketing last year to get down to business with entrepreneur Grabert on JahVa, a place where guests can both have caffeine and a bite to eat.
The coffee lounge will occupy an 800 square foot space at 6800 Gulfport Blvd. S in the South Pasadena Mall, the mainstay of which is Walmart. The couple have been eyeing the square for a while.
“Everyone is going. The foot traffic is incredible, ”said Vallee, adding that the location will allow them to cater to the South Pasadena crowds as well as those heading to Gulfport and the beach.
JahVa plans to use Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee for their hot and iced specialty lattes, which will likely provide an island touch thanks to the coconut syrup and other ingredients. CBD espresso and caffeine-free superfood lattes in flavors such as beetroot and turmeric will also be part of the lineup. Vallee said superfood lattes were all the rage in California, where she lived for a time and often visited to attend festivals.
Several local establishments will supply the coffee lounge with food – think bagels and croissants from Bella’s Bakes Cakes and Bagels or Craft Kafe gluten-free bagels. Vallée and Grabert are working on a range of smoothie bowls to accompany the different styles of reggae to be played throughout the day.
Dub classics can start early in the morning, then the tunes can switch to ska or stable rock around lunchtime.
In addition to the soundtrack, JahVa will feature a cozy all-green, yellow, and red setting with leather sofas, large chairs, and high ceilings. Vallée said he called on St. Petersburg muralists, the Vitale brothers, to do interior artwork, including positive quotes from big names in roots reggae music. Also expect some seating on the front patio.
“I just wanted a place I would like to go that had reggae all the time, coffee and healthy food,” Vallée said.
(727) 314-0923. jahvacoffeelounge.com.