We had the good fortune of connecting with Embry Munsey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Embry, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance is particularly tough because we’re not only married and parents of three, but we operate every aspect of our business together! While it’s a unique challenge running a business while keeping our marriage and kids first, a healthy balance is always the goal. It is a high value for us to have fun and be present with each other and our kids, so we continue to make it work how we can.
Getting married at twenty-one and starting a family within a few years – we grew up quickly! We essentially found our way into coffee because of the early, flexible hours that allowed us to spend afternoons and evenings together. Being married sixteen years now, we are still learning new rhythms to remain healthy as a family, and also allow for space to grow as individuals. We’ve had to be steady, patient and focused as we’ve grown and operated our coffee company the last four years.
The hardest part about starting Jedidiah Coffee in 2017 was doing so at probably the busiest time of our lives! Launching when our youngest was just months old was difficult, but we had already dreamt about starting a coffee company for seven years by that time, so we hit the ground running with the Mobile Coffee Bar. Our kids love helping us with the business, and in turn are learning work life values of their own. We‘ve truly built from the ground up, have grown sometimes slowly, but have had such a good time in the process!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
While Steve and I don’t always have the same approach to business, we both absolutely see our company as an expression of art and love for our community. If you have been around us while we’re behind the bar, or doing coffee deliveries, you’ll know we are passionate about giving our best! We’re not big on shortcuts, and we’ll always go out of our way to create a memorable experience for our customers. Every drink at the bar, or bag of coffee we roast and prep is a moment to create something beautiful for someone. We also live for a good adventure which is why we got started in the events industry. There is nothing like getting to know people while they celebrate life’s biggest moments!
Because of the foundation we have and everything it’s taken to get where we are, we bring a lot of love and passion into what we do! Starting and running this business together has been one of the most challenging seasons for us, second to experiencing the loss of our son Jedidiah in 2011. Keeping our marriage and family life healthy is a constant commitment. Something we are strict about is spending regular time together – apart from the operations of our company.
Professionally we are just getting started! We are four years in with the catering business, nearing two years roasting, and so many dreams still ahead of us – including opening our first brick and mortar in Laguna Beach this year!! The dream started almost eleven years ago with a cafe right here in the town that we love so much, and we have never lost site of that. Everything that brought us to where we are now – even the obstacles – it’s all part of the beautiful story that makes up Jedidiah Coffee.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Laguna Beach, hands down!
Breakfast is our favorite so we have multiple favorites we could start with. BeachComber in Crystal Cove, La Siena Grill, Orange Inn, Lost Pier, and Driftwood Kitchen are some of our favorites! At some point we’d have to go to Gelato Paridiso on Peppertree Lane – our favorite combo is Espresso, Dark Hazlenut, and Almond , then we walk across to Main Beach to watch the kids play on the playground that they’ve all grown up on.
The beaches we recommend are usually Tablerock if you’re up for the hike, or Crescent Bay which holds a very special place in our heart. For a nice scenic walk -Treasure Island and Heisler. Our lunch go-to’s are Wahoos, Papas Tacos, Slapfish, Zinc, and Gina’s Pizza.
We’re beach lovers so we’d for sure spend 2-3 hours on the sand, usually coffee in-hand. Steve is always teaching someone something cool in the water, or building a massive sand hole for the kids to play in. I like to make up sand bucket games to play, smashball, and watch for sea life. We always bring a ton of toys and are usually the designated drink bringers….you know we’ve brought a dispenser of coffee more than once!
For dinner San Shi Go is an all time sushi favorite, and there are countless others that have an incredible dinner menu like South of Nicks. After dinner gelato if we haven’t already had it, and then of course watching Sunset. If you like to shop, there are so many great small businesses in Laguna. Hobie, Amenah, 7 Roots, Tuvalu, Garage Collective and LS&S are some of our favorites. And once you get to know the people behind these businesses, you will love and appreciate them even more!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We got into the coffee industry because you get to be surrounded by people and community. There have been many supporters of our vision over the years, and at times it was their encouragement that kept us going.
We do and give what we do because of our four beautiful children- Zealan, Gideon, Liberty and Jedidiah. There are countless others that have given us irreplaceable advice, support, and extra love to our kids during the different stages of our entrepreneurial hustle. We have so much gratitude for Dana Scannell, Rich and Robin Speakman, Joe and Robin Munsey, and Kevin and Molly Dowdell for helping us get this far.
We of course are so thankful every time a customer books our Mobile Coffee Bar for their special occasion, as well as every single coffee sale since we started roasting in 2019.
Watch our space for all the exciting things 2021 has in store, and thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
Facebook: Jedidiah Coffee
Charissa Magno Photography