Anyone for Java?
Anyone for Java?
Port City Java offers two Leland Locations for your ultimate caffeine (or decaf) fix
Story by Kass Fincher
Most of us cannot start the day without a cup o’ joe. But many people today choose a coffee concoction that does not resemble your grandfather’s beverage anymore. Espresso shots, ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel syrup and whipped cream are all perks that many coffee-lovers demand these days. And Port City Java (PCJ) baristas serve them up with fresh coffee beans and a creative twist.
Leland residents can choose from two PCJ locations – Waterford and Brunswick Forest. The Brunswick Forest store is company-owned; the Waterford store is a franchise. Franchise owner Trip Coyne owns three stores – Waterford, Jacksonville, and a Wilmington store near Forest Hills. His employee Melissa Floyd is the link between all three franchise stores and corporate – managing the communications, product rollouts and training programs in the stores so that the brand’s quality and consistency is maintained. Floyd started with PCJ in 2001; she worked for corporate for ten years before coming to the franchise company.
Floyd spoke about the support that corporate provides their franchise. “They do training manuals and programs so we can train our staff,” she related. “They also do testing and rollouts for new products – they’ll ask us to participate in those sometimes, depending on the product and the location. We also get to participate in taste tests; that’s fun. We are about to roll out some natural juices that they’ve tested in four locations for about three months.”
Juices, smoothies, freezes and shakes are all available, but, according to Floyd, coffee is the hands-down most popular product, representing at least 30 percent of sales. Breakfast is prime time, with the egg wrap or sandwich with ham, bacon or sausage the local favorite. There’s even a steak wrap for the hungriest among us. If you’re not a meat-eater, there’s the Mediterranean veggie wrap – tortilla with egg, feta cheese, red peppers and baby spinach. Baked goods like muffins, scones, bagels and danish round out your options, many of which are offered all day. Lunch offerings include turkey, chicken and veggie wraps.
Port City Java is a local company, opening their first store in 1995 in downtown Wilmington in the small space that is now Slainte Irish Pub. In our area, they now have six locations in Wilmington alone, one in Southport and two in Leland. Most other locations are in North Carolina, some run by Aramark on college campuses.
Port City Java employees roast coffee at their Wilmington facility five days a week, ensuring their cafes can serve fresh coffee within days of roasting. CEO Steve Schnitzler joined Port City Java in 1998. He began his career as a manager of the store in Lumina Station, and later became the company’s director of operations. Schnitzler is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and worked in kitchens in New York and New Jersey, and later as a chef at the Front Street Brewery in downtown Wilmington.
Schnitzler’s experience in the food industry has been a key to their success, according to Floyd. But she points out that every location is different, and the approach from PCJ and its franchisees is to adapt to the community. “In Leland,” she said, “we do a lot of coffee. In Jacksonville, with the military community, it’s more frozen drinks.”
No doubt, both stores benefit from the amazing growth in population that Leland has experienced in recent years. The large retirement community is important, but there is also a significant young family demographic. And Port City Java seeks to serve them both.
Port City Java
511 Olde Waterford Way Suite 100, Leland
Port City Java
1112 East Cutlar Crossing