David Martinez doesn’t care if you order a straight double shot of espresso or a large latte with whole milk and extra sweetener. He wants you to have your drink the way you want it.
“If you can make someone’s drink and make their day with that drink,” he said, “then everything else really is irrelevant. If they like a whole lot of foam, no foam at all, 12 sugar packets, whatever, then that’s the right way.”
David and his wife, Frances Martinez, started Pour Jo Coffee, a full cafe on a food truck, about three years ago. After working as a mechanic for years, David started to look for a different line of work: he was experiencing back pain that he knew numbered his days in an automotive career and he wanted to spend more time with his family. Frances’ love for coffee inspired their business plan.
Once the Phoenix couple decided to work towards a coffee business, David tried to immerse himself in the area’s coffee culture. That usually meant dropping by local coffeehouses or cafes in the greasy work clothes he wore as an auto technician.
“We would just get looked at,” he said. People would question his orders, assuming he didn’t understand what he was ordering. “I’m trying to grow my coffee experience and I ran into a lot of people who gave me a hard time about not knowing coffee.”
David used those experiences to educate himself even more about coffee, but doesn’t want his customers at Pour Jo to ever feel the way he did then. The name of the business, in fact, came out of a conversation about how he was seeking a quality coffee for just a “poor joe like me,” he said.
The Pour Jo baristas are glad to educate customers about their coffee and what different espresso drinks are, but they mostly want to serve the drink each person wants, no matter what some coffee etiquette may say.
The Pour Jo crew includes David and Frances and a handful of close friends and family. At the Phoenix Public Market on Saturday mornings customers will usually see Frances’ sister, Christina Chavez, and Frances and Christina’s brother (and David’s best friend since elementary school), Kevin “Kev” Healy. You’ll recognize David when ordering your coffee by his handlebar mustache, the inspiration for Pour Jo’s logo.
A major part of the Pour Jo family is also Cindy, Pour Jo’s cafe on four wheels.
“It comes from Cinderella,” David explained. “Basically, that’s her story. She went from this just broken down, horrible looking truck to a truck that now people have come to love. It’s a Cinderella story.”