So, where did that time go? It seems like just yesterday I was staring at the empty retail space next to Picture This, the business we had started 10 years earlier. I was kind of into those Vanilla Lattes at the time and the only coffee shop in Eagle River didn’t open until 9am. So, a thought occurred to me, “Why not open a coffee shop? One that actually opens at 5:30 or 6:00am?” and then the wheels started turning.
Hours, days, weeks, months, and finally a year later, the idea, the concept, the business plan, all fell into place as we opened the doors in February, 1994.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that at I would not survive as a barista, primarily because I couldn’t remember more than three adjectives in front of the word ‘latte’.
Our Mission Statement: Be kind to our customers. They are who keep us in business. Our customer base ranges from the high school student looking for a place to meet friends over Italian sodas or coffee to the business executive looking to secure a deal over a cup of specialized coffee in a pleasant atmosphere. Our goal is to provide quality coffee drinks and food in a relaxed clean appealing unique atmosphere. We want to sell the “experience” of enjoying a specialty coffee drink. We want to create an emotion.
Family, friends and customers were instrumental in our addition of the 1949 Railway Express truck from Colorado for our drive thru a few years later. We had wanted something different from the standard kiosks around town and different we got, with all of its pros and cons.
The availability of the retail space next to our original space allowed our next expansion to occur in 2005.
From that point on, it was full speed ahead, allowing us to host weddings, receptions, concerts, birthday parties showers, etc..
A multitude of memories could easily fill a book (which I’ve often contemplated writing). The sense of community with this huge “expanded family” has made the journey all worth the effort.
The opportunity to hire and work with many of our communities finest young people has allowed me to continue my ‘teaching career’ which actually started long before Jitters. For that I am grateful. So cheers to 25 years-an incredible opportunity and journey, thanks to the thousands of supportive people in our immediate and surrounding communities.
Written by Dennis Johnson, owner and founder of Jitters…Where Coffee is an Art. Dennis is a retired teacher who became an entrepreneur when opening his own art gallery, the popular Picture This in 1984 and then opening Jitters in 1994. He is also known for his knowledge of fly fishing, as well as his impressive record of 100 days a year on the water with a fly rod in hand.