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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Feb. 20, 202007:50 PM EST

JAX Chamber names 2020 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year

Ben Johnson is the president of Martin Coffee Company.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

Ben Johnson, president of Martin Coffee Company Inc., was named the JAX Chamber 2020 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year at a reception Feb. 20. 

Johnson was selected from the chamber’s 13 Small Business Leaders of the Year chosen by its councils, Beaches and Entrepreneurial Growth divisions and the ImpactJAX young professionals group.

“It’s a complete honor to be here today, on stage right now, not only to be selected, but you saw the number of quality, quality people in the 2020 class of small business leaders,” said Johnson, who is a member of the Chamber’s Downtown Council. “Trying to select someone out of this 2020 group was probably like splitting hairs. I don’t know how it happened, but thank you so, so much.”

2019 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year, Antoinette Meskel of Meskel & Associates Engineering, and the the 2020 winner, Ben Johnson.

Martin Coffee Company says on its website it is the city’s oldest specialty coffee roaster. It roasts coffee for restaurants, coffee shops and offices and sells and services coffee equipment.

In a November interview for “First Coast Success” on the First Coast Connect radio program, Johnson said the company has more than 400 customers. 

Johnson’s grandfather, Fred Martin, opened the roastery in Jacksonville in 1957. It initially operated in a space on Bay Street until 1988, then moved to 1633 Marshall St. off Talleyrand Avenue.

Johnson has been president since 1998. He thanked his family, who works with him at Martin Coffee. His mother, Shirley Ann Martin Johnson, is the secretary, his father, Harold Johnson, is vice president, and his sister, Jennifer Martin Johnson, is office manager.

Johnson’s father began working for the company when he married into the Martin family.

“He is an inspiration to me, he is a great role model and I couldn’t be prouder to have a dad who was able to exemplify and use him as a role model in everyday life,” Johnson said.




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