Written by Lauren Buser. Media by Baylen Whitfield. [divide]
Jo’s Java has been a beloved addition to the Greenville College campus for many years. It’s a higher class coffee shop, with easy access to students and faculty at the college. Mrs. Bonnie Jo Cole tells the story of the coffee shop, after 16 successful years of business.
Get to Know the Owner
Mrs. Bonnie Jo Cole is the owner of Jo’s Java. She is married to the well-known Deloy Cole, professor at Greenville College. Before moving here for work, Mr. and Mrs. Cole lived in California. They moved here so Deloy could start work at the college. Mrs. Cole realized that, at the time, the closest high-end coffee shop was in Highland. Being such a lover of coffee, Mrs. Cole did not want to make that drive constantly and MotoMart coffee was not doing it.
How it All Started
Mrs. Cole began looking for places to rent. After talking to the president of the college at the time, who was a coffee lover himself, President V. James Mannoia Jr. offered Mrs. Cole a space to be rented in the new building being built on campus, Dietzman. It was a toss up between this and a place on the square. She stated, “I had to ask myself if I wanted to cater more to the community or to the students. Even though I am a separate entity from the college, by that I mean I rent from them, people from the community aren’t as likely to travel to the college to get coffee from me.”
Mrs. Cole went on to explain that she picked renting at the college as almost a ministry. She enjoys meeting and talking with the students and being able to share that with her husband. She also knew that while students rarely have the money to be a regular, having a high-end cup of coffee every once in awhile is a good thing for students. She enjoys seeing the students have a place to study and to relax with friends. Mrs. Cole says that she runs the coffee shop for these reasons. “It is solely out of the love of a good cup of coffee and seeing so many people come and enjoy the place.”
Fun Facts About the Shop
- About 4 years ago, it was only half the size it is now! The bookstore took up the rest of the downstairs area of Dietzman.
- Workers at Jo’s Java have created their own coffee specials that can make it into the book of favorites! One called “Love Potion” is still in the favorites book after many years! Give it a try!
- Jo’s Java serves lunch, as well as coffee.
- The art on the walls are pieces done by students, and if someone really likes a piece, they may purchase it!
Make sure to keep an eye out for events going on at Jo’s Java! The coffee shop hosts TED Talks and acoustic guitar players some Sunday nights. The shop can also be rented out in the evenings for showers or events.