In the spotlight: Java Lava Cafe – Best Place to Work (under 20 employees) |

In the spotlight: Java Lava Cafe – Best Place to Work (under 20 employees)

Owner Christy Downing, far right, with her staff after a busy Thursday. Java Lava won the best place to work with fewer than 20 employees, with employees saying they’re like a family
McKenna Harford /

In its 11 years open in Granby, Java Lava Cafe has come to be known by its familiar faces and consistently delicious breakfast and lunch options. 

Owner Christy Downing said that’s by design, as her cafe strives to follow the Golden Rule everyday – treat others as you’d want to be treated. This goes for customers, staff and anyone else who walks through the door. 

This year’s Best of Grand honors that dedication with a first place win in the best place to work with fewer than 20 employees. 

“Family always comes first and we’re very flexible here,” Christy said. 

A huge reason for the great work environment is that the staff is like family said Gina Macchione, who has worked with Christy since even before Java Lava opened. 

“I love the people I work with – we work really well together and we work really hard,” Gina said. “Christy is like my sister at this point in life.” 

Both Macchione and Angie Holmes, a Java Lava staff member since the start, also emphasized how much they enjoy getting to know their customers, whether they’re morning regulars or visiting for the first time. 

“We try really hard to take care of the people who come in here and even if we don’t know them, we treat them like they’re our family,” Angie said. 

Aside from the long-term staff, Christy also tries to employ local students. As a former coach, she likes to be able to provide young workers the opportunity to learn the business. 

“They learn to run food, bus tables, run the register, make coffee drinks, if they show interest in cooking, we try to do that as well … it’s an all around learning experience,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll take this with them beyond high school.” 

As the cafe continues to grow with the community, Christy said her goal is to maintain the quality of service and food that Java Lava has a reputation for. 

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