Phil Jaber: Community Barista

A conversation with Phil Jaber, founder of Philz Coffee

by Lisa Van Dusen / Palo Alto Weekly

Phil Jaber, founder of Philz Coffee talks with Lisa Van Dusen—over a cup of coffee—at his downtown Palo Alto coffee shop at Forest Avenue and Alma Street.

Phil grew up in Alameda with strong values and a commitment to building community, but Palo Alto is where he says he would most like to live. One night in 2003 after more than 25 years of experimenting with coffee, Phil announced to his wife that he wanted to change their grocery store in San Francisco to a coffee shop.

She responded: "How are you gonna do that?" Within two weeks, he had opened the first Philz Coffee.

Now, Philz has nine Bay Area locations (including downtown Palo Alto, Midtown and the new Facebook headquarters) and three more locations plus numerous partnerships on the way. Phil and his son, Jacob, who Phil says "runs the company," are growing their handcrafted coffee shops one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

Host/interview, Lisa Van Dusen

Video, Rachel Hatch.