Who We Are

FILTER-Coffee Parlor goes beyond a typical American coffee shop and connects with our community by providing a place that allows patrons to engage with each other. Our focus is on offering high quality coffees, teas, specialty drinks, and seasonal eats within a space that nurtures our community and provides a place for all to enjoy – a space that fits their needs.

Whether it’s meeting to socialize, grab and go, or participate in our programming, we want you to feel connected beyond just getting your coffee fix.


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 products to our customers in a welcoming environment that nurtures and enriches our surrounding community.

We source our coffees from Alabama roasters. Our coffee roasters are Prevail Union (Montgomery) and Red Bike Coffee (Birmingham), and our retail section will offer goods made in Alabama like ceramics, glassware, leather, and paper goods.


James began his coffee career over two decades ago with a local coffee shop and roaster. He eventually joined with Starbucks and managed two stores in Birmingham, 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.

Co-owner Jill Marlar 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.