Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) today honored Dana Point’s “Coffee Importers” as the 2015 Small Business of the Year for the 36th Senate District.
“The Coffee Importers embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of pursuing a great idea and seeing it become a reality,” said Bates. “Jim Miller, the Coffee Importers’ owner, deserves enormous credit for not only providing good coffee to his customers, but also for his strong civic engagement, such as being a driving force in the revitalization of the Dana Point Harbor. The harbor is now a stronger recreational resource for South Orange County because of people like Jim.”
Each year, every member of the Legislature selects a deserving small business from their district to honor as their “Small Business of the Year.” Bates honored Jim Miller during the California Small Business Day 2015 awards lunch in Sacramento today.
The Coffee Importers has been owned and operated by the Miller family since 1979. It was conceived as a harbor side outdoor coffeehouse and cafe with a European ambiance. Inspired by the coffee houses and alfresco cafes they enjoyed while vacationing in Europe, Bob and Bea Miller (Jim’s parents) came home with a dream to create a European cafe stateside, which was realized with the Coffee Importers.
In addition to providing coffee and food, the Coffee Importers provides a forum for people to talk about local issues by hosting the Dana Point Civic Association’s monthly Coffee Chat. The business also donates coffee and products to worthy causes in the community.
“We’re honored to have our business recognized by Senator Bates as her Small Business of the Year,” said Jim Miller. “We thank our customers and the Dana Point community for giving me and my staff the opportunity to serve them with the best services and products possible.”
California’s small businesses are the lifeblood of the state’s economy. There are approximately 3.5 million small businesses in California, which account for 99 percent of the state’s employers and employ 52 percent of the workforce.
Senator Bates (center) poses for a photo with Jim Miller, the owner of the Coffee Importers, and his wife Michelle, at the California Small Business Day lunch in Sacramento.