How Jadakiss Is Building A Generational Legacy With Kiss Café
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Jadakiss pictured with his father and son, Bob and Jaewon Phillips. Photo by Louis Kang - Noledge Productions
Passion, family and patience are the three words hip-hop legend Jadakiss (@jadakiss), his father Bob Phillips and his son Jae’won use to describe the journey it took to launch their new coffee brand, Kiss Café (@kisscafecoffee). Without those words pushing them, their new endeavor would be nonexistent, but they were able to create a whole new legacy in a field that most rappers haven’t even touched, and they’re spreading love to people all over the world too.
In October 2022, the Phillips family announced Kiss Café, a line of premium coffee for all caffeine enthusiasts looking for a new beverage to kick-start their mornings. Regarding coffee, the world’s second-consumed liquid, Jadakiss’ family has almost 50 years of experience in the business, and this new endeavor couldn’t make any more sense with everything they know about a simple bean.
“Coffee has been a part of my family forever,” Jadakiss tells EDITION from the family office in Elmsford, N.Y. “My dad would always get coffee in the morning, and one day he asked me to try it, and I started liking it. I was getting it before going to school or to one of my PAL basketball games, and it was always around. I never imagined having my own blend, but I knew my dad was in the business, and something was there for us.”
The secret weapon behind Kiss Café is Bob’s passionate history in the coffee industry. He started handling coffee shipments in the ’70s before landing a promotion that placed him in trading and exposed him to a different side of the industry where he learned what it takes to bring a hot cup of joe to consumers. Because of that, Kiss Café provides people with one of the freshest coffee products on the market, and it’s something the Phillips family says the industry rarely sees due to bigger companies using mass production for caffeine products.
Kiss Café packaged coffee grounds. Photo courtesy of brand
“WE THOUGHT, WITH THE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, MY KNOWLEDGE OF IMPORTING AND TRADING THE PRODUCT, HOW TO CARE FOR THE BEAN AND [JADAKISS’] LEGACY, WHY NOT HAVE OUR OWN?” –BOB PHILLIPS
Portrait of Jadakiss. Photo by Louis Kang - Noledge Productions
“When I first started learning about coffee, it really overwhelmed me,” says Bob. “I thought I was the dumbest guy in the world when these people reviewed this product with all this information. It became a natural connection once I saw this product helped me support my family before [Jadakiss] became who he is. We thought, with the years of experience, my knowledge of importing and trading the product, how to care for the bean and [Jadakiss’] legacy, why not have our own?”
In the late ’90s, Bob became president and CEO of Caturra Coffee Corp—a firm specializing in importing and trading green coffee—which laid the foundation for Kiss Café. The company would take some time to materialize as the family wanted to have a product that was real and genuine, and its eventual birth happened unexpectedly.
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Kiss Café was ideated in 2020 following Jadakiss’ hilarious intoxicated Verzuz battle with Fabolous, which spawned #JADADRUNK and unofficial merchandise, inspired the family to create their own product. The incredible battle with The Diplomats took that idea to new heights, and things picked up shortly after.
“After the whole ‘JADADRUNK’ thing, my kids were showing my dad the live comments about getting me a water or coffee, so we thought we could do, like, a hangover coffee, but we didn’t want to tie it to being inebriated,” says Jadakiss. “So we scratched that idea, then after Dipset, my dad said now is a good time because there’s a lot of eyes on me and we should try it. So we simplified everything and made the focus on coffee. You don’t [only] see me, but all three of us and the generations we bring to the table.”
Jadakiss. Photo by Louis Kang - Noledge Productions
It took Jadakiss and his family two years to get the right blends and everything else in order before launching their first product, a medium-dark roast blend named the Beijo—which means “kiss” in Portuguese. The family states Beijo has been flying off the shelves, and with several other blends on the way, Jadakiss and his family are excited about what lies for Kiss Café in the future.
“Expanding my career outside of music is important because this could be something that’ll be beneficial to my family when I’m not even here,” adds Jadakiss. “I did it with music, but it’s much more intriguing to me that we can build generational wealth with this. Rappers have more opportunity to branch out than ever before and my kids can have something that’ll be no different than these big Fortune 500 companies passed down by family members. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
The future of Kiss Café truly lies on the shoulders of Jadakiss’ son Jae’won, who has been working alongside his grandfather since he graduated from Clark Atlanta University in 2018. Jae’won represents a generation that neither Bob nor Jadakiss are familiar with, and after learning the ropes and incorporating his knowledge of social media and what his generation taps into, the 26-year-old is confident he’ll raise the bar even higher for Kiss Café.
Bob Phillips. Photo by Louis Kang - Noledge Productions
“Me and my godbrother are here every day printing, boxing, doing everything,” says Jae’won. “My grandfather taught me how to roast coffee beans when I was younger, and we showed my other siblings how it’s done a few weeks ago, so we know what we’re doing. I want this to grow as long as it can to where I could still be hands-on and step away from it and do other stuff. The only things I do in life is coffee and hip-hop. It’s like I’m blending both of their careers into one. I’m using the coffee thing to build the foundation of financials and the music side that’ll come afterward.”
Jadakiss, Bob and Jae’won have plans to have Kiss Café products and actual brick-and-mortar shops all over the country, exactly how Starbucks and Dunkin’ are doing. But, for now, they’re introducing their Beijo product with whole-bean, ground and the super-popular K-Cup options.
Jadakiss’ son, Jaewon Phillips. Photo by Louis Kang - Noledge Productions
“Our catchphrase is ‘For the Love of Coffee,’” says Jadakiss. “This is for the good people that love coffee. A good product with no gimmick that’s rooted in being genuine. We’re just trying to share love and provide that to the world.”
Bob adds: “With a family business, when the founder dies so does the business, and what we have here we hope to avoid that. All this started with a dream. If you don’t have a dream, the worst thing in the world is to be in this world without a dream. Whatever that dream is, I don’t care, it all starts with the dream.”