9/11


HARBOUR COFFEE story
Written in the third person for Harbour.

Harbour actually began in August of 2001.

It was at this time that John began conversations with his managers that culminated in his resignation on September 4, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York City. John's job took him weekly to Manhattan and New Jersey. Upon hearing of the resignation, his manager set a meeting for the following Tuesday, 9/11 at 9am in the WTC. Normally John would travel the night before his business trips, and avoid the rush hour traffic, but this time was different. Barb & John both woke up early, at about 4am, when Barb said,  "I don't think you should go to this meeting today."

John's thoughts were not about whether anyone else would be there but that He should be there, as usual. But this time, this day, John said, "You may be right" and they both went back to bed.

At about 8am they woke up normally and John was watching the news. There wasn’t much time to wonder about whether his meeting was actually attended by anyone as we all now know. He called Barb in to see the towers being hit. To make a 9am meeting John would have been somewhere in the PATH subway under the Hudson river, or in the buildings when they were hit and then fell. They don’t know where exactly but they do know that God kept him from being anywhere near that area at that time and he did so in such a fashion that was truly miraculous and in a way that took faith to enter into.

After transitioning out of his job, now November of 2001, they decided to open a coffeehouse that would truly serve the community. HARBOUR COFFEE was born in principle. They visited more than 1/2 of the top 10 top rated coffee houses in America, to see what excellence was. From Madison WI to Burlington VT and places in between the varying facets of community as shown in local coffeehouses was seen. They began the process of finding a location. Hershey, PA or south central PA was the area of interest in their minds, Hershey being the most likely.

A property was purchased and renovated over the coming 6 months and became the first home to HARBOUR COFFEE, opening in April of 2003. 

Six months before opening they travelled to a coffee provider for training. It was a coffee company that John was familiar with when flying the shuttle between NYC and Boston. It was a natural fit. They learned quite a bit and chose a certain coffee for their espresso. "This coffee for espresso?" a representative of the company said? " "Well, yes you could use it, it is a coffee that we now label as our own but was originally made by a roasting company that we purchased...they provided this coffee to a coffeehouse at the base of the World Trade Center".

Well of course they did ! It was the very coffee house John would use to meet his customers and fellow workers. Of course they loved it. It would have it no other way!

A month prior to opening, a friend of the Stein’s said that a friend of theirs roasted coffee locally and would we consider using him? John said "We have chosen our coffee supplier, but if he can match the espresso roast that we loved, we would consider him because He is local.” Within a week He did and after discussing the matter with their new friends at the original coffee company, they opened HARBOUR using this local roaster.

Soon after opening, this local roaster said that he was having significant trouble with his new business partner and that John should consider roasting because his company would soon be in trouble. He thanked them for showing him why his roasting company had struggled. He had placed many things ahead of his family and God and because of this he felt that he had to share this bleak future of his with John. Equally important he had to share the recipe for HARBOUR BLEND. He began the process of teaching John the craft of roasting fine coffee. Within a month his warnings were made true and he announced that He was leaving his roasting business behind. Since John had learned how to make HARBOUR BLEND the coffee itself was safe, but they lacked roasting equipment or facilities to actually roast coffee. Without equipment a recipe is of little good.

When discussing this with a friend in the front room of the HARBOUR, their carpet installer told John that his friend had opened a roasting facility 6 months ago a few towns to the west and was failing. His friend shared with him that they had just decided to sell it but didn’t know how or how long it would take. They met with them and purchased their assets in 30 days and now HARBOUR COFFEE had a full fledged roasting facility and short list of customers to roast commercially.

HARBOUR quickly became a unique place. The first night saw a man confessing to planning a bank robbery the next day on one side of Harbour while a group of high school kids had a bible study at the other side. Could there be a finer example of a true community coffeehouse than this, (btw - the robbery didn't happen).

The strength of the HARBOUR was obvious: a safe place for folks to come and to be part of a community environment. Coffee was just a conduit for community.

Turning the page to 2014 ... the three locations are now closed, (Hershey, New Town and Williamsburg City), but the coffee lives on... we will roast as long as we love coffee ... which will certainly be a long long time.

John & Barb