Cool beans, Java Blend Coffee Roasters has been operating for 86 years

Posted on April 05, 2024 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments


Founder of Java Blend Coffee Theodore Sideris (photo credit: Unravel)


Coined one of the oldest coffee roasters in Canada, Java Blend Coffee Roasters has been around for over 80 years. What started with one man’s determination to bring the freshly roasted coffee experience to Haligonians has grown into a staple business in Halifax’s north end with dozens of coffee blends and hundreds of wholesale customers throughout Atlantic Canada.

First blend

In the early 20th century, a Greek man living on Canada’s east coast had a vision. Theodore Sideris felt that everyone in his local community should know the taste of freshly roasted coffee. In 1938, Sideris founded Java Blend Coffee in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Sideris’ innovative concept was the first of its kind in the area. After importing raw green coffee beans from suppliers overseas, he’d roast them in his shop on Hollis Street. Through trial and error, he developed signature coffee blends that were sold in his shop and wholesale to local cafés and restaurants. Coffee roasted in the community, for the community.


Peter Dikaios (left) and Theodore Sideris (right) surrounded by coffee equipment (photo credit: Unravel)

Growing beans

In 1971, Sideris decided to sell the business to Peter Dikaios and remained involved as a mentor for a transition period. As operations grew, Dikaios moved Java Blend from its original shop on Hollis Street to a larger location in the north end of Halifax in 1985. The brand later opened three cafés in surrounding areas, but franchising was not a successful business model, so these locations later closed.

Eventually, Peter’s son Jim pivoted from his career as a marine biologist to join the family business. When Jim took over operations in 2004, Java Blend’s only location was its café and roastery on North Street. Over time, Jim Dikaios added a Java Blend stand at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market and a warehouse for bean roasting to meet wholesale demand. Using beans imported from suppliers across the globe, Java Blend expanded its product line to over 15 blends of locally roasted coffee.


Jim Dikaios (left) with two of the four new owners of Java Blend Coffee Roasters (photo credit: Paul Jackson/Facebook)

New ownership

After establishing Java Blend Coffee as a Halifax institution, at 58 years old Jim Dikaios started thinking about retirement. Although he initially thought he’d work until he was at least 60, in 2019 a group of entrepreneurs he had mentored in the coffee business approached him about purchasing Java Blend and the opportunity felt right.

The new owners of Java Blend include Joe Dunford, Alex Lee, Adam Bose and Ibrar Ul Haq Malazai. They planned to maintain the usual operations, the business’ staff of 20 and Dikaios stayed on as a consultant to ease the transition.


Java Blend’s location on North Street, Halifax (photo credit: Java Blend Coffee Roasters)

Still roasting

Today, operations continue at Java Blend Coffee Roasters. In addition to its location on North Street, the organization has a café in downtown Halifax on Sackville Street. Recent news of unionization and wrongful termination claims against the company make it appear that everything isn’t smooth sailing. However, with a couple dozen signature coffee blends and over 300 wholesale customers across Atlantic Canada, the organization has come a long way throughout its 86 years.

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