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This month, Coffee Importers in Dana Point celebrates its 40th year of business in the Dana Point Harbor.
Coffee Importers was started in 1979 when Jim Miller bought the business with his wife, Michelle, and his parents, Bob and Bea.
“It was just the beginning of this whole cappuccino/espresso movement that Starbucks and Diedrich (Coffee) had taken on,” Miller said. “My parents were often visiting family in Denmark, where cafés were popular. They thought, ‘Why don’t we start that?’ ”
Coffee Importers has seen several changes over the decades. In 1981, the Millers purchased the business across from the coffee shop to open the now-famous Scoop Deck Ice Cream Shop. A deli, bagel shop and juice bar was opened inside Coffee Importers in 1995. Miller says it’s all about how a business adapts to how demands shift. He says that his menus, concepts and business space have changed to mirror what customers are looking for.
Miller’s hope for the coffee spot was that it would be a place of gathering for friends, family and the community. About 20 years ago, Coffee Importers owners agreed to host “coffee chats” regularly when Bob and Pat Fairbanks of the Dana Point Civic Association approached them with the idea. The events featured community discussions with guest speakers regarding issues that impacted Dana Point. Coffee chats continue to be held monthly.
WHAT’S NEXT: To celebrate the 40th anniversary, Coffee Importers will host a celebration on Friday, June 14 at 3 p.m. on the outdoor patio. Custom-designed anniversary shirts and mugs will be available for purchase, and the public is invited to enjoy an afternoon full of activities and treats to celebrate. The special edition mug designed for this anniversary features a bee design, in honor of Miller’s mother, Bea.