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April 2012 Jonathan's Coffee House

Café Series – Jonathan's Coffee House
J. Martinez & Company - Coffee Merchants
The Cafe Series

Company Newsletter
April 12, 2012

Jonathan's Coffee-House

The nation’s largest coffee chain (you know the one I mean, with the Moby Dick reference) has become a favorite business meeting spot. Almost any time of the day you see business men with papers, people conducting interviews, and folks looking like they might be doing something more serious on their laptop than watching YouTube. Coffee shops, almost from the beginning, were places of commerce (and, some say, revolution, but we will leave that for another newsletter). The coffee house that is the subject of today’s newsletter is Jonathan’s Coffee-House, which was founded by Jonathan Miles in Exchange Alley, London, in 1680. This coffee house is famous as the first public stock exchange in England.

Jonathan's Coffee-House, London, the original London Stock ExchangeThe 16th Century saw the beginnings of the joint stock companies, a then revolutionary way of limiting the company owners’ liability, spreading risk and raising funds for business ventures. But it wasn’t until the late 17th Century that there very many companies to trade. It was the late 1600's that liberalized banking rules allowed companies to borrow money and at that point the formation of joint stock companies took off. While initially stock brokers congregated at the Royal Exchange, government regulations soon moved them out as they were becoming very numerous and “rowdy”. A great many moved to coffee houses, and one in particular – Jonathan’s Coffee-House.

The coffee houses employed boys to gather news at the docks and bring it back as ships came in. The news was posted on a board behind the bar and some printed news sheets as well. Access to the coffee house cost a penny. Jonathan’s burned down in 1748, but the stock brokers clubbed together and New Jonathan’s was opened shortly thereafter, renamed the Stock Exchange. We can only speculate that there was less focus on coffee and more on stocks. We at J. Martinez & Company promise to keep our focus on coffee.

Gift Box with Two Pounds of Coffee and Pralined Pecans

Mother’s Day is around the corner. Mom will want breakfast in bed and a cup of delicious coffee. How about a Coffee Gift box with Pralined Pecans and two pounds of her favorite coffee? Just a suggestion, but May 13th will be here before you know it.