She explains how renovations helped change the atmosphere to welcome the customers.
Started in 1960, Brother Juniper’s was a small family owned coffee shop that stemmed as a community outreach effort on Haight Street in San Francisco, California. With little financial resources the brothers found a way to prepare nutritious meals at a bargain. This inspired the brothers to commence an establishment that catered to the community in need with affordable sandwiches and coffee.
Years later Brother Juniper’s expanded to several states nationwide. Fast forwarding a few more decades and the family business seemed to lose its franchises in peril. But all hope is not lost, with Memphis as its last standing location on the map.
This critically acclaimed breakfast diner is not only known for its award winning omelets but literally everything breakfast. The family concocted BBQ sauce won second place at Memphis in May in 2007. From family recipes like jam to barbeque sauce, Brother Juniper’s has it all.
“The customers love our coffee, its 80 percent Ethiopian and 20 percent Sumatran.” Koplin says.
Pauline Koplin recalls the years since the move to Memphis. “I’ve been here for 14 years.”
Her son Patrick Koplin says he’s been working in the family business since he was 9 years of age, now in his early 20s.
Brother Juniper’s celebrity has spread far and wide. In fact, Food Network celebrity Rachel Ray visited the restaurant in 2002 and has featured the restaurant in her show on two occasions.
Awards are plastered across the door to prove Juniper’s merit. Memphis Magazine Readers’ Restaurant Poll voted Brother Juniper’s winner as a preferred dining choice and tripadvisor.com awarded the restaurant a “Certificate of Excellence” in 2012.
Being awarded “Best Breakfast in Memphis” in 2007 and 2012 by the Memphis Flyer, Pauline Koplin explains, “we have a reputation to live up to.”
There’s more to a meal at Brother Juniper’s. Not only is Juniper’s known for its food, but its unweathering dedication to the community. A monthly community spotlight recognizes non-profit organizations, businesses, schools and people who make a difference in the community. This is just part of what unifies Brother Juniper’s with the community.
Pauline Koplin noted the reconstruction of Highland that is expected to exude friendlier scenery to the university students, aside from the roaring traffic that bombards the main street, leaving students with no room for pedexing.
“The new streetscape will create more of a community environment for students on Highland.” Koplin anticipates.
The humble beginnings of this family run business is what keeps this restaurant thriving. Brother Juniper’s is open Tuesday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 1pm, Saturday from 7a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.