The concept seems simple enough. Follow your passion and everything will sort itself out. But how often does it happen? It certainly did for lifelong Nebraska resident Jenna Moulton. The Scooter’s Coffee franchise owner isn’t just a fan of coffee. It’s the 32-year-old’s passion. Before she was a businesswoman, before she was a mother of three children, even before she was a wife, there was always a love for coffee. In turn, coffee has returned the favor of Jenna’s devotion by providing a livelihood beyond her wildest dreams.
Jenna’s java journey began nearly two decades ago. There’s nothing specific about coffee — the aroma, the taste, the feel of the grounds — that the 32-year-old says captivated her. It’s just something she determined that she enjoyed while growing up in Omaha. “My first job was at a mom-and-pop coffee shop,” says Moulton. “I worked there for five-and-a-half years.”
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. Her journey with Scooter’s Coffee began in 2007 as a barista. 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. Less than a year ago, 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. “Don Eckles (Scooter’s Coffee founder) has been such a huge believer in me 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 me get to where we are.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Jenna and her family during the ownership acquisition process. Jenna’s 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 is 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!”