There’s no need to pinch Jenna Moulton. She’s awake and living the American dream every day at her Scooter’s Coffee franchise. Coffee is not only her livelihood, it’s her passion. If there’s anything about coffee Jenna doesn’t know about, it probably hasn’t been invented. In less than two decades, Jenna’s java enthusiasm has blossomed from a part-time job into a successful owner of a Scooter’s Coffee franchise.
Jenna has called Omaha, Nebraska, home her entire life. For more than half of her life the 32-year-old has been serving fresh-brewed coffee to her fellow neighbors. Her life in coffee began when she turned 15 years old. “My first job was at a mom-and-pop coffee shop,” says Moulton. “I worked there for five-and-a-half years.”
Today her reality is the living embodiment of the American dream. She is living life as a wife, proud mother of three children and an owner of a Scooter’s Coffee franchise. Jenna hasn’t worn the owner’s hat for too long. It’s been less than a year since she became a top barista.
Jenna’s road to success wasn’t paved with too many trials and tribulations – simply tenacity and the will to be the best at everything put before her. She first joined Scooter’s Coffee in 2007 as a barista, following a brief stint at a local restaurant. As Jenna bluntly puts it, “I started from the bottom.” Responsibilities included greeting and serving customers and learning how to make specialty coffee. The little things that, if done correctly, build a foundation of upward mobility.
The career trajectory was on a steep incline in no time. Within nine months at Scooter’s Coffee, Jenna was a manager. “Managing is all about how to lead a team,” says Moulton. “Managing is how to get people on board about what your vision is for that store, have them follow your vision, serve great coffee, give great customer service, all while having fun in the store.”
Scooter’s Coffee was a perfect match for Jenna professionally. Little did she know the coffee industry would play the role of matchmaker personally. Scooter’s Coffee is where a relationship with her future husband Kurt blossomed. Before saying “I do,” both worked at Scooter’s Coffee, albeit in different locations. Their bond to the company was so tight, they received a gift from the corporate office when Kurt proposed to Jenna.
“I had a passion for people and coffee. I loved what I did, I could handle stressful situations, I could problem solve. My vision wasn’t to be a manager, my vision was to be a leader of the store,” said Moulton.
After eight-and-a-half years as manager, she was looking for the next step. And that next step presented itself in the form of an opportunity to become an owner of her very own Scooter’s Coffee franchise. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else except being in a coffee shop. I wanted to make a long-term commitment, I wanted to make it my life. My husband and I sat down, planned it out, and next thing I know we were signing paperwork and on our way.”
She recalls the ownership acquisition process as terrifying. But her apprehension didn’t linger long, as Jenna says she received nothing but words of encouragement from Scooter’s Coffee corporate offices, starting from the very top. “(Scooter’s Coffee Founder) Don Eckles has been such a huge believer in myself and Kurt. He’s really helped us when it came to the job. My first boss, Jay Baker, was a huge influence when I worked and managed my first store. They both helped my husband and I get to where we are.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Jenna and her family during the ownership acquisition process. Her youngest daughter was dealing with a diagnosis that kept her in the hospital for several weeks. Jenna calls the current situation a daily battle. If there was any semblance of comfort during this trying time, Jenna says being a new owner gives her the scheduling flexibility to handle her daughter’s care.
Jenna is living out her American dream. “I am so happy from where I started, being a barista, that’s where my passion is, I love working at the store every day. I’m still at the store 40 hours a week, that’s the biggest aspect of the job and that’s my favorite part.”
And her message to future Jenna Moultons out there? “Don’t be afraid to take chances. If you find something that you like, keep doing what you’re doing. Believe in yourself, ask plenty of questions, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work hard and don’t ever give up!”
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