Summary +

Jazzman’s Café, Sodexo


Food Service



Experiential design

Package design


Installations rolled out nation-wide

Highest iCommunity score in Sodexo history

Jazzman’s Café, Sodexo

Unscripted. But Ultra-Calculated

00:00 / 00:00

There are lots of sexy places where we expect to find innovation – and a hospital coffee shop isn’t one of them. That’s “innovation snobbery” according to Michael Schrage, research fellow at MIT. His warning: if you can’t spot opportunity in a dull spot, some disruptor will.

Sodexo spotted the opportunity. They are one of the world’s largest hospitality companies and their Jazzman’s Cafes live in hospitals, colleges, corporate headquarters and sports arenas. Sodexo knew that the brand needed the proverbial shot of espresso. With an exploding $12 billion specialty coffee market, now wasn’t the time to sit back and smell the coffee.

Experience over price.

While every coffee retailer will stand by the quality of its Sumatra and roaster, coffee shops aren’t all, or even mostly, about coffee: they’re about creating an unscripted, relaxing moment in a day. Across the board, people aren’t necessarily spending more on coffee, they’re spending more money on high-quality coffee experiences.

Coffee isn’t just


a drink – it’s emotional.

Mangos was hired by Sodexo to re-imagine Jazzman’s. We needed to evolve it from a bit of a cliché – think jazz music and lots of sax posters – into the kind of place that’s totally in tune with today’s cult-like coffee culture.

Image Credit: West Elm, Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Industrial Blush

Image Credit: West Elm, Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, Industrial Blush

Calculated improvisation.

We wanted to create an unorchestrated moment in an otherwise scored and tabulated day. We curated an eclectic, sometimes eccentric, assembly of furniture, art, music and coffee to create a rich but unassuming environment. Mis-matched sofas and chairs, quirky lighting and playlists created by local musicians made each café look and feel like it had been part of the neighborhood for years. The Jazzman’s wordmark needed a little caffeination, too. To keep it as idiosyncratic as our vision for the cafes, we worked with vintage woodcuts to create a new mark. No letter is from the same font family. 

Identity, packaging and naming was down-to-earth and far away from full-on Portlandia.

An artistic craft or just a great cup of coffee?

Stand behind a real coffee snob while in line for your morning joe and you might hear “Where are the beans from? Is there a high level of acidity? Do you have Papua New Guinea Village Premium Morobe?”

Well, you probably wouldn’t be at Jazzman’s. We wanted to make people feel comfortable, not challenged, by the simple act of ordering coffee. So we kept it honest.  

Double espresso results.

Sodexo tests all brand concepts and naming with their iCommunity of about 200 people. The Jazzman’s re-imagine earned the highest rating ever scored by Sodexo. The new café designs are being rolled out as you’re reading this.


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James Werpehowski