Jonathan Rubinstein has gone from being an unemployed talent agent to overseeing one of New York’s — and now Philadelphia’s — most beloved small coffee chains, Joe the Art of Coffee. The company now has nine retail locations, a Joe-branded book and an 1,800-square-foot training lab.
In a recent interview with the New York Daily News, Rubinstein says he’s seen a major shift during his time in the business, one that’s likely to offend many coffee purveyors on the West Coast. Rubinstein told the News:
“When we opened in 2003, we’d have to explain why we didn’t have frappuccinos,” says Rubinstein, whose own tastes run to macchiatos and sweet-toned espresso. “Now, customers know what they want. Expectations are higher. And New York’s become the epicenter of coffee, which is brand-new. It was Seattle, Portland, San Francisco. People are actually moving here for coffee careers. There’s more opportunity, but also real competition for talent.”