Jitters Coffee Pub, is located at 510 N. Coast Highway, Suite D, in Oceanside. The local coffee brewer is also a member of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. Vallie Gilley, is Jitters? owner-operator. She purchased the coffee business in 2000.
The coffee house decor is an eclectic mix of: artwork, books, comfortable seating, and interesting people. Blue grass music plays softly today. However,? the coffee baristas take turns choosing daily music themes, so tomorrow?s melodies will differ.
Previously employed by the City of Oceanside, Vallie is a driving force in the coffee operation and in her community. A serial entrepreneur, Vallie is a strong communicator who shares her business and personal philosophies via the Jitters coffee establishment,? a variety of websites, social media, and her blog.
Jitters? has free WiFi and an actual coffee bar, where patrons with laptops and mobile devices sit. There are also small groups, and solo individuals, sprinkled throughout the coffee house at tables and chairs; as well as comfy-looking sofas adjacent to coffee tables.
While drinking a lovely green tea, I am joined by Vallie who fluently shares details about: roasting beans; organic ingredients; Gluten free; vegan and vegetarian foods; buying from local farmers and co-ops; supporting local businesses; and giving back to the community. She is articulate, speaks quickly, and seems an obvious pro in food and drink preparation.
Jitters? offers much more than roasted coffees. Their drink menu includes: Sochi, Yerba Mate and Chai teas; hot chocolates such as: Mexican, White Chocolate, and White Lightening (made with Irish Cream syrup); expressos such as: Macchiato (with a Caramel option), Con Panna, and lattes; and cappuccinos.
Soy and almond milks, flavored syrups including Irish Cream and Torani, white chocolates, and Oreos, are but a few of the ingredients you may choose to add. You can also pick from a variety of bottled drinks such as: juices, water, tea and energy drinks.
Further options include: iced coffees, Italian Sodas, and Fruit Smoothies that are made with real frozen fruit blended with juice. For the brave, Jitters? recommends: ?a shot of expresso pulled on a rock of raw sugar topped with a dollop of whip cream,? a drink that is known as the ?Clayton Special.?
Along with the selection of hot and cold drinks, there are also sweets like: home baked muffins, pastries, cakes, cupcakes and bagels. While sandwiches and salads are not shown as regular menu items, when time permits Vallie prepares food for her baristas, and will also whip up something special for a hungry patron. Catering is also available.
Book lovers are welcome at Jitters. The bookshelves are lined with donated books, of varying size, color, and topic. They long to be read, but today they must wait.
Jitters, is a ?community hub,? where weekly events feature Friday Funday (sic) celebrating music, community, coffee (and possibly Macaroons!); and an 80?s themed dance party every Wednesday. Novel and one time events are also held.
Weekend morning breakfasts feature delicious local favorites with names like: Bradley?s Yummy Breakfast, Sexy Cakes, Breakfast Breakitos, The Classic, and The Best Breakfast Sandwich You Ever Ate. Order the ?Famous Super Sexy Cakes? to enjoy large fluffy buttermilk pancakes filled with sliced almonds and seasonal berries, topped with whipped cream, more berries and almonds. Or delight your taste buds with an order of Huevos Rancheros, made with two organic eggs over easy, layered with homemade spicy ranchero sauce, cheese, corn tortillas and black beans; then topped with scallions, sour cream and avocado.
With a 60-seat capacity, weekends are reportedly standing room only, at times. Each menu item and baked good is made with love, says Vallie. In addition, she favors buying fresh and organic ingredients from local farmers and food co-ops, whenever possible.
Desiring to better her community and enrich the lives of many, Vallie also displays, promotes and sells the works of local artists and musicians. Being green is key too, so the coffee bar recycles, buys recyclable products, and offers a discount on beverages to customers who bring their own cup(s).
Vallie credits her parents with an upbringing that showed her firsthand the importance of volunteering and giving back to your community. She notes that her dad served his country through military service, and that both of her parents were educators.
Several years ago, Vallie?s mother was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease (LBD), a multi-system disease combining symptoms of Parkinson?s and dementia.? Officially recognized just 15-years ago, the disease remains relatively unknown even though it is the 2nd most common form of dementia after Alzheimer?s, and affects an estimated 1.3 million people. One the most famous people diagnosed with LBD, was Estelle Getty, who played the well-known character ?Sophia Petrillo? on The Golden Girls; she died at age 84.
Symptoms vary by individual. Each person can exhibit some, all or only a few of the symptoms. The average survival time is 78 years, with a survival of 7-years after diagnosis. Vallie?s mother died at just 69, 2-1/2 years after her LBD diagnosis. Cared for at home by Vallie and her dad throughout the course of her disease, her mother?s symptoms left her unable to speak in the last year of her life, a symptom which seems particularly cruel for all involved.
Asking herself what her mother would do, Vallie poured herself into creating a non-profit organization to raise monies for charities, as a tribute to her mother. She named the foundation ?Feeding the Soul.? Given Vallie?s line of work, her interest in people, and her dedication to volunteering and aiding her community, the name seems aptly chosen.
Through Feeding the Soul, musicians are booked to entertain at local venues, including Jitters. Vallie and a friend run the organization; and choose the causes. The foundation is heavily supported by an extended and engaged group of family, friends and supporters, Vallie emphasizes.
In June, Jitters hosted a Feeding the Soul event featuring ?Tom Bradley & The Lovebirds.? Proceeds generated through tickets, sales and donations for that event, were awarded to the Junior Seau Foundation. A free concert in July, was sponsored by Whole Foods in Encinitas, who donated 5% of all sales to the foundation. Featured musicians at the Whole Foods event were: ?Luc and the Lovingtons? and ?The Yes Team.?
Brother Bennos Soup Kitchen, an all volunteer organization located in Oceanside, CA, is an example of a local non-profit that has benefited from a Feeding the Soul event. Donated funds were raised via a concert featuring: Bushwalla, Day Old Johnson, The Makepeace Brothers, Dawn Mitschele, Alysse Fischer, Jessie Payo and Scott Cassidy & Friends; along with a CD, and handpicked family recipes from the Feeding the Soul cookbook.
Once chosen, causes receive charity in assorted ways such as: volunteered time, donated coffee and baked goods, baskets or gift certificates, promotion on Vallie?s varied websites, and proceeds earned via scheduled events, the sale of CD?s, and more. Vallie has also participated in events held by the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.
After repeated requests, this summer Vallie will conduct a cooking camp for kids, aged 6 to 11, at Jitters. The camp is planned for July 23 through 27, from 1 to 4. The cost is $150, which will help to offset the 15-hours of cooking time plus foodstuffs. The final day, each child will help cook and serve a dinner, for their family members.
Recently Vallie is also authoring a new blog, called ?Perfect Bite of Life.? Like Vallie, the blog is diverse, complex and inspirational. It is filled with her thoughts, recipes, fun, photos, tidbits about nutrition, and more. She also maintains a corresponding page on Facebook.
As for Jitters, it is in full swing weekdays from 6 to 3; weekends from 7 to 3. If you are entertaining out-of-town guests, bring them by to perk them up with some flavorful local fare. Or stop by to brew up some family fun, foment a t?te-?-t?te, blend up a meeting of co-workers, or just order a cuppa for yourself. Relax, chat, read a book, access the free WiFi, tap your feet or hum to the to the tunes, eat, drink, and absorb the ambiance, patrons, and baristas. You?ll undoubtedly be glad you did.
Jitters Coffee Pub
510 N. Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054
Director,? Oceanside Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Member, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce marketing committee
Volunteer Blogger for marketing committee on Oceanside Chamber of Commerce blog