Celebrating 20 Years of Zumis Espresso

Lexi Wright

Twenty years ago, the cozy and community-oriented coffee shop opened on Market Street in Ipswich. Umesh Bhuju and his wife, Zillie Bhuju, opened Zumi’s on February 14th, 2003. The cafe has stayed true to its values over the last 20 years, but the cafe itself has changed immensely. From strictly drip coffee to a variety of espresso drinks, Zumi’s has grown to serve the entire community. 

A coffee from Zumi’s Espresso.

The name Zumi’s comes from a combination of Umesh and Zillies name and their firstborn daughter Uma. Zumi’s is known for its excellent customer service and even better coffee. But what has kept this business successful over the last 20 years? According to Umesh Bhuju, it is the community. He says, “When we create a relationship with our customers; it makes them feel welcomed and happy to return for more.” An example of this established relationship between Umesh and his customers would be remembering dozens of orders for dozens of customers. As an employee at Zumi’s, I was most impressed with his ability to recognize minor details about customers he last saw five or more years ago. It shows how much he cares for his community.

Other than the core value of community, Zumi’s expresses the importance of fair trade. According to Fair Trade International, fair trade is a relationship between farmers and consumers that ensures good working conditions and reasonable prices and pay for farmers. All Zumi’s beans come through fair trade, and they work explicitly with Dean’s Beans, a company in Orange, Massachusetts. 

Over the past 20 years, Zumi’s has had a variety of employees that make the local coffee shop so unique. According to Tracy, a regular customer at Zumi’s, “the wonderful staff are what keep me coming back day after day. Zumis is more than a coffee shop; it’s a community.” She explained further that being remembered by Zumi’s staff and building relationships with the Baristas have kept her coming back for quite some time. Sky McCartney, a manager at Zumi’s, says that “Zumi’s is so successful because of the regular customers that continue to show support. Not only by coming in daily, but recommending our coffee to others to publicize Zumi’s.” He also has been able to learn from all the employees that came before him because of how well-trained they were. This is the key to establishing a consistent staff, which is one factor that has made Zumi’s so successful for twenty years. 

In the summer of 2022, Zumi’s opened its first, second location in Topsfield. Umesh hopes that “Topsfield Zumi’s will gain a community as strong as the Ipswich Zumi’s someday and become just as successful.” One intriguing and different aspect of the Topsfield Zumi’s is its live music. They feature small artists and bands on weekends, in addition to the local art exhibit that lives in Ipswich and Topsfield Zumi’s, giving an opportunity for local community members to shine. 

Zumi’s has continued to grow and make innovations that keep the community interested and a coming back for more. Studying the yearbook at Ipswich High School, the students all chose Zumi’s as their go-to coffee shop when they needed a little pick-me-up. Zumi’s is open seven days a week from 6 am – 6 pm on weekdays, 7 am – 7 pm on Saturdays, and 7 am – 4 pm on Sundays. If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee and an even better community environment, Zumi’s is the best place for you.