Small World Coffee first opened its doors in the historic town center of Princeton, NJ in December 1993. Brant Cosaboom and I met just after graduating from college while working at a coffee shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While getting to know one another, we realized some significant similarities: We were both raised as expats while our father’s worked for General Motors. Brant lived in Spain and Korea for several years and I lived almost my entire childhood–from age 4 to 16–in Italy, Australia, and Brazil. This kind of childhood was eye-opening to not just the differences from country to country, but the underlying commonalities in the core needs and values off all people across the globe. Learning new languages, cultures, and traditions gave us a perspective that served us well when developing the mission of Small World Coffee.
Galvanized by these synchronistic histories/life stories and our shared entrepreneurial visions, we joined forces, packing up my car, and spending most of 1993 driving around the U.S. in search of the perfect college town to open Small World Coffee, a cafe for the locals that welcomes the world. Our year long road trip brought us to many college towns, but the brakes of my little Geo Spectrum came to a screeching halt when Princeton was found, the perfect town gown experience, historic and collegiate with a cosmopolitan flair.
In order to have the best coffee, we took control of the product and in 1997 Small World Roasters was started with our new partner and head roaster Jon March. Using the highest quality beans available, blends like Grumpy Monkey and Joker Poker were born! This step has allowed Small World Coffee to expand beyond our walls and bring our delicious brews to legendary academic institutions like Princeton University and Rutgers University as well as mail order customers across the country!
Small World Today
Fast-forward, today the Small World Community has grown exponentially! Our sustained success has brought innumerable rewards, both tangible and intangible. So many meaningful relationships have formed at Small World Coffee: marriages, babies, friendships, careers, and the lasting loyalty of our customers and core vendors.
The collaborative efforts of “worldlings”, past and present, have assisted us in living our mission of serving our customers in a way that makes you feel better about the day! We strive to do this while staying true to deeply rooted core values of quality coffee, hospitality, community, inclusivity, and generosity.
We conspire to inspire connection over coffee!
Jessica, Brant, Jon & our team.