The story of Brown's Coffee Café begins in Europe during World War II, where the wartime experiences of Virgil Brown, owner Neal Brown's father, motivated him to seek a peaceful, provincial life. In the 1960s, Virgil moved the family to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia in search of this tranquil existence. But although the Brown clan found life on their 400-acre dairy farm fulfilling, the hard economic realities of dairy farming drove the family back to urban living.
Years later, when happenstance flung Neal into the world of coffee, his days on the farm filled him with sympathy for coffee farmers who harvested beans for menial wages, out of sight and out of mind for the coffee drinkers abroad enjoying the fruits of their labors. Neal therefore resolved that his shop would use only fair-trade beans that were free of chemicals and pesticides and capable of providing an honest wage to hard-working farmers. Eventually, like a popcorn kernel under an interrogation lamp, the café expanded, and it now includes a menu of chorizo burritos, cuban pulled-pork sandwiches, and other fare that represents the traditions of numerous nations, just as Neal's story does.