What makes one espresso hut stand out from the zillion or so others that are out there? Furthermore, how does one such hut manage to repeat the feat year after freaking year? Speed? Great service? Co-owner Paul Jacob says it's no accident. "A lot of it is being conscious of quality, and also the better training of our employees."
The inspiration for jumping into the biz came as a result of the brothers' growing appreciation for consistently well-made coffee beverages. The demands of school and work were transforming them into java junkies -- and connoisseurs.
"Before we started, I was burning the candle at both ends at school and drinking lots of lattes," says Paul. "I was intrigued as to why sometimes you got a really good one and then other times, it would be just okay."
It's hard to imagine a time when every corner in town wasn't occupied by a drive-thru espresso stand, but nine years ago, when twin brothers Paul and Scott Jacob first got the notion, it was still a fresh idea.
Scott says: "We had the first one in the city limits of Spokane [at Sixth and Washington]. So we got in on the ground level."
"It was probably the best location in Spokane," adds Paul. "With all the South Hill traffic coming down the hill, it was a great spot and enabled us to open up a few more shops in the next few years."
And so the brothers' Java empire grew. The newest addition to the Jacob's family of coffee-to-go kiosks (bringing the total to six) is located at 620 N. Sullivan Road. And it's not just the speed and friendly faces that people are coming back for -- the brothers' brew won second place in the "Best Espresso Drinks" category, too, just behind a little outfit by the name of Starbucks.
"We both actively work the shops," says Scott. "It's kind of hands-on. I think that helps a little bit, too. To keep the employees conscious of what they're serving."
Second place: Field of Beans
Third place: Buzzies/Brew Bros. (tie)
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)