Salem-based coffee roaster Jaho Coffee & Tea, which has three shops in the Boston area, goes international this week. Owner Anil Mezini tells Eater that he has expanded to Tokyo, Japan. (Prior to this, his most recent expansion was to Boston's Downtown Crossing, where he opened Jaho Coffee Roasters & Wine Bar in April 2015.)
The Tokyo shop is located in Nakameguro, Mezini said, "which is a hip residential district with popular cafes, boutique shops, and restaurants." Mezini worked in concert with a fashion brand called Plain People to open the shop.
"Half the store is a full-service Jaho Coffee, serving pour overs, espresso, smoothies, baked goods, and sandwiches, and a fuller menu is coming soon," Mezini said. "The other half is a Plain People retail store."
"It’s a project that has been a dream of mine ever since I opened the first Jaho in Salem in 2005," Mezini said. He spent a year studying abroad in Tokyo as a sophomore at Salem State university and said that his experience shaped the first Jaho store.
"Three years ago on one of my yearly visits to Tokyo, I became friends with Nami Kinoshita, who was working as a barista at one of my favorite cafes there," Mezini said. She worked at Salem’s Jaho for three months last year to learn the ropes and help plan the expansion to Japan.
Mezini is currently in Tokyo to oversee the opening of the shop.