We are often asked why we chose to name our company Hoboken and I wish that we had a romantic story to tell but the story really is just above dull but I will tell it anyway.
Before I met Trey I was working at a coffee shop called Aspen Coffee in Stillwater. I loved it. I really loved it. I was never a good student. It was the fluorescent lights. It’s a lame excuse to drop out of college but I did...three times. Anyway, so while I was suppose to be getting a degree I was really just falling in love with my minimum wage job. I decided that having my very own coffee house was what I wanted to do...so the journey began. Shortly after I made this decision I switched from a nutrition major to Hotel and Restaurant Administration. It seemed like it was a relatively new degree compared to the rest. In a majority of my classes the professor would say “you don’t really need a degree to do this but it will help” so finally I dropped out for the last time shortly after Trey and I got married.
A couple of steps back.
Once I decided to pursue coffee I came up with a name. It was Benga’s House. (this is pre Trey) Benga was my great grandmother’s name. I didn’t actually know that it was her name until her funeral. She went by Bennie and I called her Meme. It is a funny thing to love someone so much and not actually know their name. The moment I heard it, I knew my coffee house had a name. I made business cards, coffee cups, and had folders full of Benga’s House ideas. When I met Trey I told him my dream and he thought it was a great idea so once we got married it became OUR dream. (side note: Trey and I met at Aspen Coffee)
A few steps forward.
A year after Trey and I got married we moved to Oregon. We were on a quest for coffee knowledge and independence. We ended up in Eugene. Our time there was unforgettable. It was only a year but what a year it was. We fell in love with each other and experienced the incredible love of our creator in abundance. We ran (a lot), worked, ate tasty foods, made lasting friendships, rode our bikes, hiked, and drank coffee. We had never been around so much great coffee. There were as many coffee houses in Eugene as there are churches in Guthrie. It was saturated. We loved it. We went to all of them. It was great because they all had a different feel so we would choose depending on the mood we were in. All this to say that there was one coffee house in Eugene that had a name that was a little tricky to pronounce. We could tell that people were always insecure about saying it. They would say, “let’s meet at ______, or is it ______, or maybe it is______, oh you know what I am talking about....let’s meet there.” When we noticed this, we realized that people often did that with Benga’s House when they would see it written out. We would hear, Ben Gas, Ben-gah’s or Banga’s. I knew in my heart that we needed to change it but I felt committed. It had been two years since I first decided on the name. It felt like I was changing a two year old baby’s name. You can’t do that. It is confusing. After much debate with Trey we decided that it was best to change it...better now than later. But what?? That we did not know.
Fast forward a year.
We were back in Guthrie and in the process of filing for our corporation and we did not have a name. They told us that we could file without one but that it would be more work in the long run. We started brainstorming. It felt like we said every word in the dictionary. We could not agree on anything.
A couple of nights before Trey was going to meet with our accountant we were watching a movie, I can’t even think of the name of it now. One of the girls in the movie said that she was from Hoboken...Trey and I both looked at each other and said “ what about Hoboken?” That was it! We both knew it. We had been to Hoboken about six months before and we adored the city so it was fresh on our minds. We instantly loved it so that became our name.
Hoboken Coffee Roasters we are and hopefully will forever be.
I pray sometimes that God will let me make coffee in heaven for all of you. I would love to have a coffee house where I had all the time in the world to sit and get to know everyone. Until then I will take the few minutes that I get between taking orders and washing dishes.
From the deep part of my heart.
Posted on Fri, August 16, 2013