Here we are, on the 45th anniversary of Nova Coffee (March 28th)! We wanted to share with you a bit of history surrounding the company.
It all started in 1973. Nova Coffee was originally founded by Jim Jenner of Dartmouth, who partnered with Weldon Taul of Coldbrook, and ran the business out of Jim’s Dartmouth home. In 1974 Weldon left the business to pursue another opportunity. When Weldon left, Jim’s son Gary began to manage Nova Coffee while still attending Dalhousie University full time with a major in accounting.
Gary left Dalhousie in October 1975 and began to work with Nova Coffee full time. Gary’s two brothers and sister ended up working for the company as well. With all hands-on deck, the company was now an official family business! The siblings continued working with the company for several years, and eventually moved to other pursuits.
In 1986 Gary and Jim decided to move the business to Burnside Industrial park, into a new 6000 square foot building they designed. Giving them more space to store product. In between the time at the Jenner home and their move to Burnside, they had a location on Rosedale Drive in Dartmouth. At this point Nova Coffee was the largest office coffee service in Nova Scotia! While Mother Parkers was supplying the roasted coffee for their office accounts, they decided to partner with another coffee company called Illy Espresso in 1990 and become the only Illy distributor in Nova Scotia.
In the middle of all this, Gary purchased a small OCS (Office Coffee Service) business in Moncton New Brunswick and after four years sold it to Maritime Coffee in 1992. Following up on the growth of their foodservice sales, they sold the OCS portion of their business in 2004.
After taking on Illy, Gary decided to buy the business from his father, Jim. Gary and his wife Karen took ownership of Nova Coffee in 1992 and made the move to begin roasting themselves! They purchased their first roaster in 1997 to pursue their goal of moving directly into food service.
In 2003 they decided to part ways with the Burnside building, selling it and moving into a location in Lower Sackville. This would make for a shorter commute to the city, as Gary and Karen were living in the Annapolis Valley where they were raising four children.
In 2017 they decided to make a final move. They moved the roastery right onto the property of their hobby farm! Located in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Coffee is now nestled at the base of the North Mountain and in between apple orchards and vineyards. Gary still travels to the city weekly to visit clients, while a small staff works in the roastery. Later in the spring, Gary’s daughter Kristen will join the company for the summer and work assisting in the roastery and the office!
Today the focus of Nova Coffee is mainly cafes and dining rooms. From consulting on what the best equipment is for your space, selecting the right coffee(s) for your clientele, all the way to espresso coffee and espresso training, we remain a full service supplier to the food service coffee trade!
The staff of Nova Coffee in 1986.
Gary and Jim Jenner in 2006.
The staff of Nova Coffee in 2017.