“My goal with Haven is to bring specialty coffee to central Florida,” said Jonathan Lane. He and his wife, Lynsey, are opening the first and only coffee roastery in Winter Haven, called Haven Coffee Roasters. “We knew that the downtown was really cute, and it was up-and-coming, and it was somewhere we wanted to be,” said Lynsey. “We thought we needed to bring that joy and that craft coffee to Winter Haven.”
The family has always lived in the central Florida area, now settled in Lakeland. They have three children – Jonah, ten, Elijah, eight, and Hannah, five. Lynsey, who has an elementary education degree from Southeastern University, has been a stay-at-home mom since they were born. Jonathan attended Johnson and Wales University in Miami before venturing into real estate and eventually the coffee biz.
“I fell in love with coffee just as a fan,” he said. He went to work for a family of Colombian coffee producers who own five farms there. Jonathan traveled to Colombia several times, even bringing Lynsey along for one trip. “I got to learn where coffee comes from – from the plant all the way to the roasting,” he said. Through his job traveling the country from roastery to roastery, Jonathan would talk with them about their craft, learning the trade tips and tricks. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he would be putting that knowledge to work at his own roastery down the line.
Dark Roast Dreams
Last year, like so many, Jonathan lost his job. He applied for some ninety jobs to no avail. But, he had an idea. Jonathan wanted to put his love of and experience with coffee to use by opening a coffee roastery. “Visiting thousands of coffee roasters, I already knew what to do. I already knew where to get it, and I knew how to get good coffee from good sources. I already knew what good coffee was.” He brought the idea to Lynsey, his wife, and partner – the realistic and logistic yin to his dreamer, creative yang. “He has a lot of ideas, a very entrepreneurial spirit,” she said, open to the idea of a family roastery.
“There were some speed bumps, but there was never a stop sign […] God put everything in place,” Jonathan said. By July of last year, the Lanes had a two-kilo coffee roaster and began roasting coffee in their garage, selling it online to their growing customer base. They spoke with several potential investors about Haven Coffee Roasters. Eventually, they found the right match with a group of Winter Haven locals who loved the concept enough to support bringing it downtown.
Haven Coffee Roasters debuted at the Winter Haven Farmers Market in October of 2020 as they prepared to open their
brick-and-mortar. “It was something we didn’t foresee we needed and that we would love. We’ve been able to meet the community, and we have people that come and see us every week,” said Lynsey. The Lanes have made connections and built relationships with customers at the market who have fallen in love with the Haven Coffee brand. Lynsey said, “We’ll already have that foundation before we open our place.”
The cozy shop with exposed brick, sprawling Third-Street-facing window, and outdoor patio will be a great place to grab and go or sit and sip with a cup of Haven Coffee. The Lanes are big on family and say the shop will be kid-friendly and community-centric. They plan to sell bags of coffee at the roastery, and hopefully, anyone who comes in for a cup will want to leave with a bag. Jonathan also wants to share his brand with area restaurants so fans can get a cup of Haven at places around town. “To me, it’s going to be Winter Haven’s coffee shop,” he said.
Lynsey added, “We both enjoy hospitality. We enjoy people coming to our home. We love making people comfortable to enjoy it and come in and feel welcomed and loved. It will be an extension of ourselves in a way. We’ll be there often; our presence will be there. […] Our calling and our ministry with the coffee is that we show God’s love to anyone who walks in that door.”
Espresso and Education
Their name is both an homage to Winter Haven and creating that welcoming, enjoyable space for their customers. “A big piece of what we wanted to do is create a haven. A haven for people to know about coffee, to love coffee, and to be educated on coffee,” Jonathan said.
Part of that haven is making space for customers to be curious about coffee. “I want people to come and not be afraid to ask questions,” he said. Jonathan is even working on graphics to help patrons visualize what each drink is. The Lanes and the Haven Coffee staff will be there to answer questions honestly, knowledgeably, sans coffee snobbery. “One of the things I’m very passionate about is educating people about coffee,” said Jonathan. “When you go to the farms, and you get to experience who grows it, how it’s grown […] the whole process of how it gets into your cup – the funny thing is, people don’t know that.”
Working with his former employers, the Colombian family Jonathan calls his best friends and brothers, Haven offers coffee grown on farms worldwide – Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia, Costa Rica. “One of the misnomers in coffee is that if you buy coffee from bigger companies, they’re not taking care of the farmers – which is not true,” he said. “My farming brothers, their farmers, have been there for thirty years, and their children are farming coffee.”
An example of the company’s commitment to their farmers, Jonathan says, is providing transportation to school for their children. “He doesn’t have to do that, but he knows if they don’t, the kids won’t go to school,” said Jonathan. “Working with co-ops is a big piece of it,” he said. “Coffee co-ops are a group of farmers working together. So they’re smaller farms, better quality.”
Haven is a specialty coffee brand – none of that commodity coffee stuff you might get at a national chain. “There are different kinds [of specialty coffee],” Jonathan said. “There’s natural, washed, honey processed. That’s part of the education I want to give people. […] I spend more on coffee because it’s going to taste better, but also it’s going to be better for the people drinking it.”
The Winter Haven-based coffee brand’s most popular flavor is their Haven Blend, a “specialty blend of Brazil, Colombian, and Ethiopian coffees.” It has notes of caramel, green apple, and graham cracker. Over Valentine’s Day, they introduced the Lovers Quarrel blend with notes of chocolate-covered strawberry. Creating blends allows Jonathan to flex his culinary muscles. “That’s where the craft part comes in,” said Lynsey. Experimenting with everything from the blend of coffees to temperature during the roasting process “allows me to dive into my culinary background,” he said. “I’m not an expert at it yet, but I’m getting there.”
In addition to their in-house roasted coffee by the bag and brew, guests can enjoy a full café menu including espresso, lattes, tea, hot chocolate, ‘kiduccinos,’ and even matcha. The Haven Coffee couple is working with 16.92 Coffee Matcha Bar to bring in a little matcha magic. Honeycomb Bread Bakers will be providing their pastries. “I want to make sure if I can, I want to help a Winter Haven business, but also I want it to be great flavors,” said Jonathan.
Education, quality, and growth are paramount to Jonathan and Lynsey Lane. “It’s our legacy – for our kids, for our family,” said Lynsey. “If he hadn’t lost the job and had no other options basically, I don’t think we ever would have pursued it – had the guts or the courage to do it.” Jonathan is excited for their future as a roastery. “If there’s an opportunity for me to have a chance to grow this as big as I want to grow, it is right now.”
They plan to open toward the end of March. Follow them on social media for more information and stay apprised of all the Haven Coffee Roasters’ happenings.
“I want to share good coffee with Florida,” said Jonathan Lane. “I don’t need the world, I don’t want the world, but I want people to know if there’s a Haven Coffee around, they’re going to get great coffee.”
Haven Coffee Roasters
140 3rd St SW, Winter Haven