Born and raised in Hapeville, Georgia, Christine Ahn brings grit, spirit and positivity to the community - sharing excellent customer service and coffee with the ATL Airport District daily. Ahn opened Jpresso just before the COVID-19 pandemic, following her dream to open a coffee shop in her hometown, and has quickly established it as a Hapeville staple.
Q: Can you tell us about your background and how you entered the coffee space?
CA: When I was younger, my parents actually owned their first business here in Hapeville, where I was raised, in the exact shopping center where Jpresso is today. I played here most of my youth, and as I grew older, I wanted to open a coffee shop in the exact place I spent most of my childhood. I did just that many, many years later - and here we are!
Jpresso’s building was empty for quite some time before we took over the space, and we spent two years preparing for opening. Of course, who knew COVID-19 would haunt us for the next year and beyond? We opened on March 15, 2020 - right in the midst of the pandemic’s onset - and temporarily closed shortly after our grand opening. Although the past year has been a whirlwind, we recently celebrated our first coffee-versary!
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being a female business owner?
CA: Well, I don’t want to put this under the lens of gender, but I love being a woman and a mom with the ability to nurture and multitask. I really enjoy catering to my customers’ needs, and as a mother of two boys, I have become adept at handling many aspects of their lives, especially through virtual schooling over the past year. The ability to manage multitasking, often out of necessity rather than desire, has really transferred to Jpresso, where I care for customers and love what I do daily.
Q: Why are you proud to be a female business owner?
CA: Because I wear the pants here! In my experience, female business owners are approachable and passionate to customers. We’re not afraid to ask someone how their experience, service or meal was - and we can pay special attention to detail. Ultimately, people seem to be more generous and lenient on female business owners, and I enjoy creating those connections with customers.
Q: Do you have any female mentors or figures you find inspirational?
CA: My sister, Joanna, is my inspiration. She may be younger than me, but she has more business experience than I do and has supported me since day one. She’s very calm and laid back, but tough - and she’s made her own restaurant, Sombrero’s Mexican Cantina, a Hapeville landmark over the last 10 years, built from scratch.
Q: What is one book or resource you’d recommend to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
CA: I highly recommend researching before you decide your business outline, as there will be a lot of trial and error - but don’t get discouraged!
“You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero is a great resource. I like the title, and after all, positivity is the key to success.