Who We Are

FILTER-Coffee Parlor “Alabama’s Greenest Coffee Shop” is dedicated to impacting the world by providing customers with exceptional quality coffee, tea and house-made baked goods, providing community support and being an advocate for environmentally sustainable practices inside and beyond our doors.

People + Environment = IMPACT “Our Why & What We Do Every Day”

Impact On People = Our Team Members & Daily Guest

Impact on Environment = Steward/Advocate to Earth Inside & Outside of FILTER.


We wanted to open FILTER for several reasons, combining our talents into one business that feeds into our community. We have both worked independently in our careers but wanted to bring our energy together to build something for ourselves that still maintained its service to others.

The upper mezzanine of FILTER provides ample space for gatherings, children’s activities, and other programming that we hope to bring into the space to make it more inviting to people of all ages.

This is the vision we share. It’s all about coffee but it’s more than just coffee.


Our goal is to provide high quality sustainable and compostable products to our customers in a welcoming environment that nurtures and enriches our surrounding community.

We source our coffees from Amavida Coffee (30A), and make everything in-house from our baked goods to house syrups for our seasonal and signature drinks.


Jill Marlar (co-owner) is a teacher, visual artist, local actress, and small business owner (www.jillmarlar.com). For the past 22 years, she’s taught preschool children at a local school and also runs her small business teaching after-school art, drama, and music classes. This is an area she will continue to work in and lead alongside her work at FILTER. She is looking forward to bringing engaging and creative programming to Filter.

James Little (co-owner) began his coffee career over two decades ago with a local coffee shop and roaster. He eventually joined with Starbucks helping to managed and opened stores in Birmingham and across the state. One of which was the original Starbucks location in Birmingham and happens to be the space FILTER is now located. His desire to have his own coffee shop has been there for many years. Now, it is a reality.

Before FILTER, James was the Neighborhood District Manager with REV Birmingham for 13 years. Established and developed groups across Birmingham utilizing the National Main Street Approach. Directed boards and committees of merchants and residents establishing yearly work plans to create vibrancy, fill spaces and grow businesses. Assisted with real estate and business growth needs for businesses within the City of Birmingham. Developed, organized and implemented events and promotions in conjunction with area merchants to help with marketing districts, attracting locals and visitors to drive local sales.

Due to these efforts James has been recognized for the following; 2016 Main Street Alabama Excellence in Volunteer Development Award “Clean & Clear Five Points South”, 2015 Main Street Alabama Excellence in Downtown Promotion Award “Five Points South Marketing Program”, 2014 Main Street Alabama Excellence in Business Promotion Award “Birmingham Restaurant Week”, 2014 B-Metro Next List, 2013 Birmingham Magazine Ground Breaker Award, 2012 UAB Leadership Class, 2012 B-Metro Magazine One to One July Issue, 2011 Best of Birmingham Most Influential Local Food Advocate Finalist, 2011 Birmingham Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 Award, 2010 BBA Small Business Advocate of the Year Award.