White Horse Coffee & Creamery, the Jenkintown coffee shop that’s been running the community since 2017
Owner Jean Brillman took her love of horses and it into a coffee spot that can’t be missed just outside of Philly.
Jean Brillman always had a soft spot for horses, which pushed her to become a professional horse trainer early in life.
As one, a majority of her time was spent staying on the show grounds with her horses and children. Brillman quickly discovered the lack of food options near the stables.
“There was only one food truck available, and it was not the greatest food,” said Brillman, owner of White Horse Coffee and Creamery. “I needed something that could get me through the long hours.”
She also couldn’t make a trip to Starbucks or other restaurants to get a quick bite.
“My husband and I quickly started thinking about business ideas and what kind of food truck we should have,” she said.
Brillman wanted to focus on quality coffee and sweet treats that locals can have all season long.
“We wanted to focus on coffee but also though, ‘what about something else too?” said Brillman.
The couple quickly realized that ice cream would appeal to different kinds of people, including children who go to horse shows.
“I was scrolling online and saw a food truck on eBay that served ice cream and coffee, It was fate,” said Brillman.
She soon bought the truck, but the new businesswoman had to learn a lot about the coffee industry.
“We didn’t know much about coffee, besides that we really love it,” she said.
Their initial plan was to take their promising food truck to horse shows, but they soon found out that community members all over Jenkintown and neighboring towns had also seen their truck, and wanted to try their drinks.
“We also did community events,” she said.
Brillman was proud of her small business but never thought that she would open up a space.
That is until she saw the space while taking her kids out.
“I was taking my kids to their dance lesson in Jenkintown, I was walking back, iIsee this perfect spot for rent,” said Brillman.
As she scoped out the empty space, she imagined all of her customers lined up waiting to get some coffee and baked goods.
“The space was beautiful, but needed a lot of work,” she said.
Now, Brillman is pleased with her cafe and has created a unique barnyard theme in reference to her company’s name.
“I also named all of my specialty drinks and ice cream after famous white horses,” she said.
Brillman has an ice cream sundae called, “The snowman,” which is a unique take on s’mores.
There’s vanilla soft serve, warm, thick chocolate sauce, graham cracker crumbs, and a toasted marshmallow on top.
“It’s definitely a well-known treat,” she said.
They are also known for their famous Dole Whip, a spin on the popular Disneyland treat.
“It is pretty much a pineapple soft serve, it's almost like a creamsicle, everyone loves it,” she said.
Since her coffee shop is in the center of Jenkintown, she was also able to become more involved in the community, which provided her with many opportunities along with colleagues.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic shook small businesses, Brillman has had support from her faithful customers and acquaintances.
“We have hit some rough spots, but we also had a lot of support,” she said.
Despite large gatherings still being banned, Brillman, who is a board member of the Jenkintown Community Alliance, still immerses herself into the neighborhood.
“I still try to give back to the community, before the pandemic I donated coffee to a lot of our events,” she said.
If you are looking for a cozy and friendly small business to support, check out White Coffee and Creamery and grab a Dole Whip or some gluten free snacks!