Jim Osborn, Director of Coffee at City of Saints, is so passionate about his job and chuckles at the title of his position because its almost like “a made up thing.” His work, however, is what keeps the company running – he is the head roaster and is in charge of green purchasing. Other than roasting coffee all day, his day-to-day tasks are about “strategizing what coffees are gonna be in the lineup in different times of the year.
While studying at the University of Vermont, Osborn worked full-time at a coffee shop and quickly become very interested in learning the different aspects of operating a small business. Upon graduation, he felt that he was in “the right position to start [his] own business.” Since he felt that he had a lot of experience and familiarity with managing a café, he started a coffee catering company called Cursive Coffee.
“We had no help, no money, and no idea what the hell we were doing,” said Osborn. But “it was really fun and the coffee was really good.” Shortly after, Osborn and his partner sold the business and he moved to NYC to work for the already-established City of Saints.
City of Saints’ flagship location is Hoboken, New Jersey. When Osborn joined the team, the company was roasting its coffee in a timeshare facility – Pulley Collective. Today, the company operates in Hobokon, East Village, and Brooklyn, with plans to continue expanding in the city.
When asked what distinguishes City of Saints from other coffee shops, Osborn proudly stated that he and his company are “continuously trying to improve [their] way of doing.” They pride themselves on selling high-quality, “sustainably-excellent” coffee. And unlike some coffee shops in New York, they don’t want to solely appeal only to the coffee aficionado, but rather welcome anyone who wants to have a delicious and ethically-sourced cup of joe.
As someone who wants to learn more about coffee myself, I asked Osborn how he thinks I can become a true coffee enthusiast. “I think the most genuine and impactful way to learn more about it is to find the spaces that resonate with you and to talk to the people that are making that space resonate with you.” He believes that rather than picking up a book about roasting, just sit down at your favorite café and start to develop relationships with the people working there.
Other than City of Saints, Osborn likes to drink coffee at his neighborhood coffee shop – Propeller in Greenpoint.