"Hilltop Coffee is a community café, very much with the emphasis on community."
- Jami & Dan, owners
Jami and Dan have, for nearly as long as they've been together, dreamed of one day opening their own independent coffee shop . Living apart for several years during college and early careers, they would spend hours talking on the phone about their dream café. Dan returned to Pittsburgh in April 2017 after finishing an MA in European History from the University of Cincinnati. He was followed shortly by Jami, 5th generation Pittsburgher raised on nearby Wellington Street, who returned home after a stint working for the Department of the Navy in Washington DC. New challenges came to pass, like purchasing and renovating their 1888-built South Side Slopes home; however, they never stopped dreaming about their coffee shop. "Maybe when we're in our forties and have some serious money saved up," they would say. Well, how things change - and quickly!
After some fortunate discussions with friends and neighbors, beginning in January 2020, Jami and Dan began work on the Day & Night Heating and Air Conditioning storefront that had recently closed after faithfully serving the community for decades. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, progress stopped for a few months until construction could safely begin again. Then, errors made by the City of Pittsburgh Permits, License, and Inspections department delayed the project even longer than the pandemic did. Despite bureaucratic and health setbacks, on December 12th 2020, Hilltop Coffee proudly and safely opened its doors with masked-but-smiling faces.
"It is an absolute honor to live in, be a part of, and serve Arlington, the South Side Slopes, and communities beyond in Pittsburgh. We hope to be able to do so for many years to come, and welcome everyone into our shop the way we would welcome you into our home - with warmth and delicious caffeine! See you on the Hilltop!"
Eric, a Penn Hills native, has made the City of Pittsburgh home for the last 5 years. A professional photographer and social media consultant, his passion for coffee started years ago as a journeyman Starbucks employee and continues with us today at Hilltop Coffee. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking, road trips, art museums, and playing with his dog Goose. His favorite drink tends to go with the season, but Iced Lavender White Mocha was an off-menu favorite. If you stop by when he's in, ask about the "Eric's Heartattack" drink. Check out his photography (and book him!) at buckmanphotos.com, or on Instagram @buckmanphotos
Started with Hilltop Coffee: Mar. 2021
Hannah grew up in Colorado Springs, CO listening to stories about Pittsburgh from yinzer family members. Always drawn to return back east, she attended Kent State where she earned her BS in Psychology. Making the final pilgrimage "home" in August 2020, she now attends Chatham University where she is pursuing a Master's in Psychology. Her lifelong love of coffee and food led her to start an Instagram account @wannabeyinzer where she chronicles her progress becoming a true Pittsburgher by way of the delicious treats our city has to offer. When she's not enjoying her favorite drink (Iced Americano w/ Oat Milk), she loves listening to Taylor Swift, playing her ukulele, crafting, baking, and watching Penguins hockey.
Started with Hilltop Coffee: Nov. 2021
Charlie and Louie
Though they began life in a hoarding situation in New Kensington, PA - these handsome rescue boys now lord over their domain (formerly, Jami and Dan's house) with benign indifference. Besides filling their exhaustive roles as coffee shop mascots, Charlie and Louie enjoy spending time eating, begging to eat, running around at frustrating hours, sleeping awkwardly, and playing joyously with each other and toy mice. On a nice warm day, you'll probably see them in the windows of their castle, keeping a watchful eye on birds and other beasts.