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Feb 16, 2013 10:11 PM

Nostalgia - Help remembering Jacobson's coffee brand?

I am haunted by the memory of hazelnut coffee my grandparents used to bring when they came to visit. This would have been in the late 80's - early to mid 90's. It came from Jacobson's department store and it was DIVINE. This would have specifically been the Jacobson's in Jackson, MI. I don't know if that is important or not. It was purchased whole bean, the bag-it-yourself way from bulk bins. Does anyone have any recollection what I might be thinking of? What I'd really like to know is what coffee was it that they carried? I'm hoping there might be a chance that the coffee company, whatever it was is still in business even though I know Jacobson's sadly is not.

Any help in sleuthing this out would be appreciated. My grandparents, unfortunately, are not around for me to ask anymore. We never think of all the things we'd like to ask before the chance is gone.

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  1. My DH worked for Jacobsons for many years,and we actually lived in Jackson for about 17 years,but I honestly can't remember them ever carrying coffee. Wish I could help you.

    1. Not from Jake's, but the only whole bean coffee I remember ANYONE selling pre-Starbucks was 8 O'Clock coffee from Farmer Jacks/A&P

      7 Replies
      1. re: coney with everything

        The "gourmet" stores (liquor stores that went upscale with food, like The Merchant of Vino in Metro Detroit) had whole bean pre-Starbucks but I don't recall it being widely popular then.

        I think I recall an Jacobson's coffee and gourmet packaged food section in the Rochester store in the 1980s or so, but brand memories are long gone.

        1. re: HillsofBeverly

          Yikes...all the stores mentioned in our thread are long gone--Jakes, Merchant of Vino, FJ, A&P. Did Hudson's sell whole bean coffee? Might as well throw them in too!

          1. re: coney with everything

            I think that the Merchant sort of survives as the history behind Plum Market, but while the Merchant was "the" place to get fine cheese and other things no one else carried back in the day, now Plum is just one of many upper end stores. It is nice, but a lot of what they sell can be found elsewhere.

            1. re: HillsofBeverly

              to be specific, whole foods bought the merchant of vino stores to get to the jonna's wine expertise for their entire company. when their non-compete expired, the jonna's started the plum markets.

            2. re: coney with everything

              Yes, sadly. We have access to so many wonderful things now, and I'm glad for that, but there's so much and things change so quickly anymore nothing much has a chance to become fond and familiar. And it seems like everything that WAS fond and familiar for so long is a thing of the past. I know it's not strictly true, of course, but I get wistful and nostalgic.

            3. re: HillsofBeverly

              I can remember in the late 80s, my roommate from college moved to Seattle and married a guy who was the first engineer Starbucks had ever hired to automate their roasting process. She used to send me bags of coffee beans because she and her husband hated coffee. I always loved coffee since I was a kid, They told me that there was "no way" Starbucks would ever expand out of Seattle. HA. In Ann Arbor then, you could buy whole beans at Espresso Royale....I can remember going there and ordering a latte, which I pronounced "lot"m because I had read about it somewhere. My, how far we have come.

              1. re: momskitchen

                RIGHT. And when Espresso Royale was the only game in town, one of the more popular drinks had a ton of almond syrup in it. To this day, their location on State Street makes me remember the aroma of those very sweet, VERY almondy coffee drinks.

            1. Ah, I had the sinking feeling I was after something so completely obscure no one would remember, but I thank you all so much for putting your heads together for me and giving it a shot. :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: kkandmk

                According to this:

                Cafe Lilla in Jackson uses a couple of recipes from Jacobson's restaurants and has employees that use to work there.

                Might be worth a shot to call and see if they remember.

                1. re: rcloud

                  Hey, cool! Thanks, I will give it a try. It doesn't hurt to ask.