Our Story

Not everyone who starts their own coffee business falls into the “Lifelong Coffee Lover” category. That was certainly the case for Jean, Gem City Coffee owner. “For almost my whole life I detested coffee,” Jean said. “The first time I was given a cup of coffee, disguised as hot chocolate, I detested the taste of coffee! I tried adding sugar, creamers, etc. just to make it palatable. However, it still wasn’t a pleasant experience for me!” When Jean’s husband Bob suggested roasting their own coffee beans, she was hesitant but willing to try. Her first sip of their freshly roasted coffee was a new beginning for Jean as an avid coffee lover!

When it came time to name the business, Jean took to the history books for inspiration. Living just outside of Palatka Florida, a town situated on the St. Johns River, she discovered that after the Civil War, Palatka was a valuable water gateway for providing resources to the interior of Florida. The town became very prosperous and was dubbed the title "Gem City of the St Johns". And so Jean decided it would be fitting to name the coffee business after this wonderful "Gem City”.

Our Mission

While the goal of Gem City Coffee is to energize people through their coffee, at the heart of it all is the commitment to giving back. A percentage of all sales from our coffee blends goes to local non-profit organizations that are very personal to Jean and Bob.

The first such organization is Young Life Putnam County which is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school, and college students in Putnam County Florida with a mission of introducing them to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.
The second is Celebrate Recovery. CR is a Christ-centered, 12 step program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. CR is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that control people’s lives.
The third organization is A Women’s Resource Center. AWRC is an interdenominational evangelical ministry that serves women and men in unplanned pregnancies by offering confidential free testing and counseling while sharing the love and hope of salvation through Jesus Christ.
The fourth is Beyond Basic Needs which provides support for Cancer Warriors undergoing chemotherapy by supplying Chemo Care Kits. These kits inspire, uplift, encourage and supply warriors with a port pillow, comfy socks, lip balm and a variety of other goodies. Additionally Warriors get help for basic services such as food delivery, cleaning services, transportation services and other basics needs at no charge to the individual.

The Gem City Coffee story is just unfolding as we develop a roastery that produces exceptionally great coffee. From bean to every sip of coffee savored helps our story continue. Join us as we journey on this exciting adventure!