One of the popular Faces of DeLand surely is Joe Valente, owner of Boston Coffeehouse.
This cozy coffee shop is featured in the DeLand coloring book and has been part of my life for many years. It’s one of my sons favorite places to go out and have coffee and breakfast or lunch. I come here to write. I meet friends for coffee to catch up on each other’s lives. I have meetings here.
So, it’s no surprise that I wanted to find out more about Joe Valente, the man behind this local favorite.
Joe, where did you grow up?
I grew up in a suburb outside of Boston called Brockton. The home of Rocky Marciano & Marvin Hagler. The highlights of the town. The lowlights were that our police chief went to jail for sniffing up the evidence locker! A pretty tough and interesting city!
I went to a trade school for commercial art for high school. After high school I went to Community College and graduated with my Associates Degree, then I transferred to Massachusetts College of Art. I never finished my 1st year at that college. I transferred to Boston University.
How did you come to be in DeLand?
My parents moved to Deltona after my aunt passed and I stayed behind to finish college at Boston University. I came down with my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies which was pretty useless towards trying to get a job. I ended up digging ditches in the 100+ degree temperatures during the summer, so I quickly decided to go back to Boston University to pursue my Master’s Degree in City Planning.
Please tell us the story of how Boston Coffeehouse came to be.
After acquiring my Master’s Degree in City Planning, I moved to Deltona with my parents. I converted their garage into a room for myself. Other than the laundry machines making noise it wasn’t half bad ???? I applied with the City of DeLand. I remember wearing my only suit which was wool and hot! I told myself there’s no way I could wear a shirt & tie the rest of my life in this hot weather.
While walking around the City of DeLand, I thought it would be a great place for a Coffeeshop. There weren’t any coffeeshops there at the time. With the help of my Dad with the buildout and my mom behind the counter, I was able to open a restaurant for a small capital investment.
How did you choose the name Boston Coffeehouse?
When I told folks I was from Boston I would always see a smile on their faces. Anytime someone would visit the City they would have a great experience. It’s a cool city with great architecture and history. I wanted to capture an old world historic feel and I loved the classic architectural details that were rich in Boston. So that coupled with an instant smile from folks felt like reasoning enough to name it Boston Coffeehouse.
What sets you apart from other coffee shops?
It’s been my goal since day 1 to serve a solid portion of QUALITY meats of a sandwich. I despise turkey loaf and fake meats and a skimpy sandwich. I will never skimp on quality or value. Our servers are our #1 asset! Customers love our servers and our servers love their customers. It’s a great situation to have and a great environment to work in.
What’s your image or vision of an ideal business?
A business that can be run by a manager. A business that is simple to run and business that one does not have to be a slave to.
What do you love most about running a coffeeshop?
If you could pick another location to open a coffee shop anywhere in the world, where would you like to do that?
You are in our family father, Joe, what’s most important to you as a father?
Where do I start? lol There are so many stresses if I’m making the right decisions that will positively influence my kids. I want to be a mentor, a role model and the best father I can be. I want to appreciate and enjoy all of their first experiences and experience new things with them for myself. I’m excited and worried but looking forward to it all!
What do you want to leave for your kids?
A thriving restaurant concept with many franchisees to continue to grow.
Over the years, I have had many a meeting at Boston Coffeehouse over a delicious meal and cup of Joe, no pun intended 🙂 If you’re in DeLand, you don’t want to miss this local favorite! It’s a great place to chill, grab a bite and one of the many specialty coffees. My favorite is the Yankee Doodle made of Espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, caramel & hazelnut with whipped cream on top together with one of their white chocolate raspberry cookies. Absolutely heavenly!!!
I’ll meet you there …