A former common councilor, Joe Nicoletti calls himself the anchor of Freedom's first operation on Pearl Street, which was originally named Federal Espresso until a law suit with the shipping giant forced a name change. It then became ExFederal Espresso for a time, but that wasn't good enough; Freedom fits this independent chain well, Freedom of Espresso.
"Been there since its inception," Nicolettti said.
He went on to explain a perfect Sunday routine: Starts with church, then a stop at Columbus Bakery to pick up a loaf of bread and finally Freedom of Espresso for the morning's brew.
Kathy Ludovico, who frequently joins Nicoletti at Freedom, said, "Good people with good minds."
Meaning, it's not just surface conversation, people get together at the coffee stop to share ideas and interests.
Actually, Anna and John agree, the most important ingredient is the people. In their 13 years in business they have seen kids grow up.
"Kids will often have their first commercial hot chocolate with us," John said.
He said they start on whip cream, move into hot chocolate and when they are old enough, coffee.
Anna, John and their baristi see people for perhaps 45 seconds a day, several days a week over a period of years.
"It amazing how well you get to know someone and really get a sense of who they are," John said.
Dobbs sounds familiar?
John Dobbs is also a glass artist. He created the glass coffee cups that line the windows on the original Freedom of Espresso on the north side's Pearl Street.