‘March can’t come fast enough’: Progress brewing on U.S. 61 coffee house

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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NATCHEZ — “March can’t come fast enough,” P.J.’s Coffee, Natchez said on its social media pages Tuesday morning.

“We’re looking at early March for opening,” said Tance Hughes, who owns the new P.J.’s Coffee franchise at 112 U.S. 61 South with his brother Seth Hughes and Dallas Morris.

Over the past few months, many have eagerly watched the sign go up and steady progress on the building that was once a Smoothie King but will soon house the New Orleans-style coffee shop.

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While a photo shows a seemingly empty shop inside the building, Hughes said all of the equipment has arrived and is ready for installation.

“We’ve got a manager in place and will start hiring other staff mid-February,” he said.

Those interested in applying should watch pjs-coffee-careers.careerplug.com/jobs for Natchez openings, Hughes added.

Once complete, Hughes said the shop will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

A Natchez P.J.’s Coffee was announced around the same time the Hughes family business, Southern Designs, moved into the former Kmart building on John R. Junkin Drive.

The brothers originally planned to have the business in that area, but as they often do, plans changed and the franchise stalled until the present location became available.

P.J.’s was founded in New Orleans in 1978 by Phyllis Jordan and serves an array of hot, iced and frozen coffee beverages and tea.

Hughes said P.J.’s purchases its beans directly from farms in Honduras and Nicaragua, which are delivered to New Orleans for roasting before they are shipped to their stores around the United States. In addition to its famous coffee, P.J.’s offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, New Orleans-style beignets and pastries through its drive-through and walk-in services.