Being a police officer became too dangerous, so this Valley man opened a coffee shop instead

Jason Cvancara left his position as a police officer because, according to him, it had become increasingly dangerous.

The father of four instead turned to coffee and launched Zona Coffee Company, a new business.

“Over the course of a decade, there were five or six incidents involving drawn weapons,” he said. Five or six times in the past year, we’ve had men answer the door with knives and one man with a machete, incidents in which violence was evident.

Cvancara stated that after ten years with the Phoenix Police Department and brief stints in other law enforcement agencies, it was time for him to transition from protecting the community to serving them coffee.

“It’s a huge risk, it’s a very difficult job, and you sort of weigh the pros and cons, and a lot of it had to do with family,” Cvancara said about leaving law enforcement. “My family requested that I leave the room. Let’s try something unique.”

The Zone Coffee Company fills this void.

Although the Arizona-inspired options are currently only available online, Cvancara stated that he is just getting started.

“The Mesa location will be in a shared community space, and the Tempe location will be in a standalone location. The aspect of working in law enforcement that I miss the most is talking to people I wouldn’t normally talk to, so we’re planning community events to bring people together.”

One cup of coffee at a time, he hopes to bridge the divide between police and the community.

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