Allison Boettcher is a Jamaican-American entrepreneur and founder of Blue Mountain Coffee House in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her coffee house is one of the most preferred locations for local coffee lovers and tourists, especially Japanese tourists.
In deference to her Jamaican heritage, Boettcher uses beans from her small family coffee estate in Jamaica.
“Embodied in our vision statement ‘Real Coffee, One Love, One World’, Blue Mountain Coffee House is committed to preserving and palletizing the authentic taste of coffee, created with love, for the world to enjoy,” she told Jamaicans.com.
“Blue Mountain Coffee House provides breakfast and lunch all day, such as organic pancakes, waffles, crepes, sandwiches, croissants, bagels, and artisan bread and pastries baked onsite. We also serve indigenous Jamaican breakfast and lunch.”
Prior to starting her own venture, Boettcher was working as a corporate controller and junior CFO. However, she was inspired to start her own business by her grandmother, who operated one of the largest bammy businesses in Jamaica.
“My grandmother was the matriarch of the family, to whom many referred to as Ironside. My grandmother owned and operated one of the first and largest bammy businesses in Jamaica. After school, we would always assist with the business. She was my biggest role model,” she said.
Boettcher started Blue Mountain Coffee House with her savings. According to her, her learned German culture also helped.
“I used all my savings to open my business and my credit cards for the initial inventory. Perhaps my learned German culture plays a major role in my spending approach. Under the motto: ‘I don’t spend what I don’t have .’ Hence, I started off with a simple chalkboard for my menu, baked all my pastries from scratch, and worked all shifts.”
As a single, Black woman entrepreneur, Boettcher said that “it is truly impressive to be compared to Starbucks in such a short time.”
Meanwhile, the Jamaican-American coffee shop owner said she is now planning to expand her coffee business. So far, she has managed to get a bank to back her idea. Her decision to expand paints a picture of growth but the road has not always been smooth sailing for her.
When COVID-19 struck and businesses were closing, she survived courtesy of the Paycheck Protection Program and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. These programs provided over $14,000 that helped pay inventory bills and keep her workforce. She described surviving COVID-19 as her “big break”.
“I represent that 40 percent of all black businesses that survived COVID-19,” Boettcher told CBS12.
Boettcher attended this year’s State of the Union address as Congresswoman Lois Frankel’s virtual guest of honor.