NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - August 18, 2008) - PJ's Coffee of New Orleans is celebrating 30 years as the South's premier coffee. Its long history, distinct roasting process and return to its New Orleans roots, will be recognized on Wednesday, September 3 at the original PJ's coffeehouse located at 7624 Maple Street in New Orleans. From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., PJ's Coffee will serve free iced coffee and hot drip coffee, accompanied by the sounds of the Rebirth Brass Blend. The celebration will continue on Thursday, September 4, at all participating PJ's locations, where customers will receive one free Anniversary Blend coffee.
"We would like to thank all of our customers for supporting us for so many years," says Phyllis Jordan, founder of PJ's Coffee. "We love being in the neighborhood and serving what we believe to be simply the best coffee -- and we look forward to our next 30 years!"
Jordan opened the first PJ's outlet on Maple Street, in the University area of New Orleans, in September 1978. It quickly became a local favorite, known for its fresh brewed coffee and tea, fresh pastries and desserts, and relaxed atmosphere. She recognized early on something that few coffee brands in the U.S. appreciate: coffee is distinguished largely based on the bean selection and the roasting process. In an attempt to enhance the coffee experience and distance PJ's from other specialty coffees, Jordan purchased a private roasting facility in New Orleans -- just a stone's throw from the mighty Mississippi -- in 1980.
In 2005, one third of PJ's Coffee stores in New Orleans were dramatically affected by Hurricane Katrina. Damage at the franchisees' locations ranged anywhere from several thousand dollars to in excess of $200,000, just in property and store damage. In the initial days and weeks following the storm, PJ's was persistent in determining the whereabouts of their franchisees and corporate employees, and assessing the scope of damage at the stores and the roasting facility.
Since then, the stores affected by Katrina have worked diligently to recover and get back "to business as usual." "Restoration has been slow but sure, and it's this progress that makes our 30th year anniversary ever more special," explains Jordan. "The people of New Orleans are resilient and community-driven, and it's our commitment to each other that's allowing businesses to flourish once again in Katrina's aftermath."
The Ballard Family -- Paul, Steven and Scotty, along with a group of New Orleans business leaders -- longtime PJ's franchisees, purchased PJ's Coffee of New Orleans franchise system and coffee roasting business this year. As the new franchisor, operating as New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew, The Ballards plan to develop and manage additional stores throughout the Southeast. They look forward to the opportunity to grow PJ's Coffee and continue building momentum, support and growth opportunities for PJ's Coffee franchisees.
"PJ's Coffee has withstood competitive challenges and the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and much like the city of New Orleans, PJ's has remained -- and will remain -- a compelling brand and a special place for its consumers," explains Paul Ballard, partner, New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew. "From the coffee to the retail experience and to the belief that it will be the quintessential coffee destination in the Southeast, we are committed to keeping PJ's true to its roots."
PJ's Coffee of New Orleans was founded by Phyllis Jordan in 1978 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as the Gulf Coast region's premier specialty coffee chain. Starting as a coffee bean boutique in the New Orleans' University district, PJ's Coffee of New Orleans sets the standard for selecting, roasting and brewing coffee and is consistently voted New Orleans' favorite coffeehouse. PJ's coffee can be purchased in-store or online at www.pjscoffee.com.