by Daniela Salcedo
For most of her life, Jennifer Saunders envisioned opening her own coffee shop. After working for corporate America for 17 years, she decided it was time to become boss. She purchased Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe, 536 Spruce St., Scranton, in November, 2018.
When Saunders purchased Northern Light, which serves coffee, tea and baked goods, she took the first month or so to compose a list of changes she wanted to make to improve its overall facade. Some changes included updating the shop’s menu, expanding its social media presence and modernizing the cafe’s appearance.
Saunders grew up in the Clarks Summit area and lives in Jessup. She has three children and a collie. She loves the beach, reading, people and coffee. Her favorite aspects of being a female entrepreneur are learning about herself and her daily customers.
She admits she faces obstacles like all businesses do, and is determined to overcome any challenges that cross her path.
Saunders shares some advice for those who want to start their own business someday:
“Do your homework, believe in yourself, surround yourself with positive people and go for it,” she says.
Northern Light has been located in the historic Scranton Life building since 2002. Its mission is to make its customers feel like they are at home. Customers are welcomed by the smell of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods from the moment they walk through the door. The shop’s coffee offerings are locally roasted by Damiani Coffee Roasters, which does business with a variety of importers from around the world.
Northern Light recently introduced its new house coffee, called “Aurora.” As the coffee shop continues to expand, Saunders has several plans in mind for her business’ future. She is currently planning to get more involved with her community, and her long-term goals include developing a mobile app and opening a second location.
The cafe also hosts art events with live music throughout the year including First Friday events.
For more information on the Northern Light Espresso Bar and Cafe, visit: northernlightespresso.com.
Daniela Salcedo is a University of Scranton Women’s Entrepreneurship Center intern working for Donna Simpson, Consultant Manager.