Coffee. For so many of us, it’s the first thing we think about when we open our eyes every morning. For the Sesso family, coffee is a way to bring people together.
A passion and enthusiasm for quality coffee was engrained in Sesso Espresso President and CEO Pete Sesso many years ago. He recalls watching his grandfather, who came to the Italian section of Newark in the early 1900s, grind beans and roast his own coffee in a small oil drum in his backyard.
“The food was always great,” Sesso says, describing the Sunday family dinners at his grandfather’s house. “But everyone would look forward to his coffee that he had ground that morning. It created a conversation and togetherness.” In fact, the family would stay together many more hours than they had planned, enjoying each other’s company over a delicious cup of high quality coffee – coffee that Sesso’s grandfather described simply as “delizioso.”
Looking back, these memories helped to plant the inspiration within Sesso to start the gourmet coffee company Sesso Espresso, though he drew on additional aspirations to make the final leap to actually start the company.
“I was skeptical at first, but then I realized that I really wanted to make a difference in society,” Sesso says. “I liked the idea of having a for-profit organization like Sesso Espresso supporting non-profit entities that can help individuals get back into the workforce and find purpose in life.”
The company supports numerous non-profits, such as Market Street Mission in Morristown, in an effort to give back to the community and help those in need.
After drawing on his inspiration, Sesso presented his coffee to some executives at ShopRite of Stirling – and they loved it. Sesso Espresso took off from there, and is now being sold in several ShopRites in New Jersey, with plans to continue growing.
“I feel very strongly about hiring locally and helping the local commerce,” Sesso says. “Our goal is to be in 30 stores within the next three years. In five years, we would like to have our own coffee house.”
The company is located in Morris Plains and currently has five employees. The coffee itself is roasted and made in Brick. In addition to being sold in stores, Sesso Espresso coffee is also sold online through the company’s website.
“We currently sell three types of coffee,” Sesso says. “We have New York Blend, Columbian Estate and our flagship Sesso Espresso.” The beans for these three coffees come from the best growing locations in the world for coffee, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Columbia and Central and South America.
Being a small company has afforded Sesso the ability to make coffee to order to ensure peak freshness, which he says is extremely important and unique compared to other coffees you can buy on store shelves.
“I believe that everyone should experience a great cup of coffee,” he says. “This cup of coffee should be ‘delizioso’ – which is exactly what my grandpa used to say to me!”
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