By Gabby Bass-Butler
After working at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, and returning home to Birmingham in June 2016, June Roasters owner Jimmy Truong knew Birminhgam needed a coffee shop where people came not just for their coffee fix, but also to find an atmosphere of hospitality.
June Roasters, previously known as Epilogue, was born in 2018. While the brick and mortar location is not yet open, June Roasters-brand coffee can be found in local offices, churches and businesses such as Little Professor and the General on Clairmont Avenue. Having his coffee in those locations has allowed Truong to form great relationships with those businesses.
“I visit their stores at least two or three times a week, “ Truong said. “It’s not just a transaction, and I’m visiting them all the time to see if they need anything and catch up.”
Although Truong has enjoyed selling his coffee in other spots in the city, having his own location has always been the dream. The main vision Truong hopes to bring to June Roasters is to make it a place of hospitality, not solely a place to get work done, as is typical for many coffee shops.
“People can come in and study, but that won’t be the overall vibe,” Truong said. “Come in and talk and promote human interaction.”
Truong already has plans to host events in the space as well. The coffee shop will be in downtown Birmingham, which has always been a special place to Truong.
“I knew I wanted to be a part of the culture downtown, and Birmingham is growing and changing ,” Truong said.
Playing off of the name of June Roasters, the interior of the space will be a warm environment like the first month of summer. There will be tall windows, exposed high ceilings and a secluded patio, which is a novelty for many businesses. “Garage doors will roll up from the patio and there will be a coffee bar with machines lowered for customer interaction,” said Jimmy. Those elements point back to Truong’s goal of making June Roaster a place that is hospitable and takes care of people.
The coffee at June Roasters will range from light roast to medium roast. One of the popular roasts is called the Echo.
“I work with a lot of regional importers and they import beans from all over the place: Guatemala, Ethiopia and Mexico,” Truong said.
Truong has been exposed to a lot of what it takes to own a business through his parents. They both are immigrants from Vietnam who own nail salons and built them from the ground up. His parents are his biggest inspirations, even if they wanted him to stay in school.
“They told me ‘If you become a business owner, you’ll never stop working,’ but they have been so supportive,” Truong said.
These past few years have been great for Truong, and he’s learned a lot so far.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this myself, “ Truong said. “The reality is I have had to learn to lean on people for help.”
June Roasters will be located on 213 25th St. N. in Birmingham and is set to open in early 2022. Follow June Roasters on Instagram and Facebook for more information and a website will be coming soon.