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BUSINESS PROFILE

A caffeine cafe that delivers

Jitters Java serves Medford's downtown area

Ken Pops Trowbridge found he could easily deliver piping-hot coffee on his bike to customers in Medford. It was delivering coffee without spilling it that proved to be the problem.

Now, we have a secret way of hauling it, Trowbridge said. We don't spill a drop.

Trowbridge, 50, makes 20 trips or more each day delivering hot coffee for Jitters Java around downtown Medford. He carries the coffee in a cooler on a trailer behind his bike.

And bike-delivered coffee has proved a boon to Jitters Java, said Yancy Savage, who owns the coffee shop and the adjoining business, Foto Pro, at 308 N. Central Ave.

Since we started delivering coffee, our business has doubled, Savage said.

A photographer who has lived most of his life in the Rogue Valley, the 31-year-old Savage took over Foto Pro about three years ago.

He gradually added fax service, passports and studio photography.

About four months ago, Savage decided to enter the coffee market.

Basically I was just looking for something else, Savage said. I had the drive-up window available. I thought, `What better thing to do get than get into coffee?'

For months, Savage had been thinking about adding delivery for his photography business. When he added the coffee portion of the business, Savage decided to add delivery for Foto Pro and Jitters Java.

I understand it being in business for myself, Savage said. It's hard for me to get out and go here or go there -- if I can have it delivered, you betcha, I have it delivered.

He has known Trowbridge about seven years. The two belong to a mountain-bike club called the Legion of Dirt, about a dozen bicyclists who ride around Southern Oregon.

Savage asked Trowbridge if he was interested in working deliveries for commission and tips.

Trowbridge, who runs a sideline business of taking people on mountain-bike tours and who races competitively, thought it was a great idea.

If I could ride and stay fit and make a little money -- great, Trowbridge said.

The pair started delivery in late November. And the road was a little bumpy to begin with.

It took several trial-and-error runs to keep the coffee from rattling around and spilling as the trailer bounced up and down, Trowbridge said.

Also, customers didn't like that whipped cream melted in the hot coffee drinks before delivery. Now he brings along a can of whipped cream. They're seeing new customers every day.

And Trowbridge and Savage said they get compliments on delivering in an ecologically sound manner.

I don't know if you notice the traffic around here, Savage said. But we're not adding to it at all.

The only real problem they had was in December, Trowbridge said.

When we had all the snow it slowed me down, Trowbridge said. Especially after I crashed.

Even so, Trowbridge said with a smile, he didn't spill any.

— — No charge for local delivery

Jitters Java does not charge for delivery but they do accept tips. The business — delivers from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The general area of service runs from Crater Lake Avenue in east Medford to Columbus — Avenue in West Medford. Also, from McAndrews Road in north Medford to Barnett Road in — south Medford.

The business also delivers bagels, muffins and cinnamon rolls.

They can be reached at 772-8827.

At least one other shop delivers coffee in downtown Medofrd.

The Downtown Gourmet Sandwiches & Espresso at 410 E. Main St. uses a car to deliver — its special blends. Also, the shop walks the coffee if it's close enough. They deliver — from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

They can be reached at 774-9048.

Jitters Java deliveryman Ken Trowbridge winds his way through traffic. He says the coffee never spills. - Photo by Bob Pennell