When Robert Flam founded Jailhouse Coffee in 2015, he knew he wanted his brand to be different, something that was "animated, thematic (and for) telling stories."

Flam came up with the Jailhouse concept when watching the 2000 Coen brothers film, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" starring George Clooney. Inspired by the movie's strong visuals and nostalgic vibe, Flam designed a line of coffees running the gamut from light to dark roasts with playful names such as "Jailbird," "Safe House" and "Not Guilty" — the Jailhouse line's decaf roast, of course.

In conversation with The Japan Times, Flam detailed the process of getting his fledgling coffee brand to market in over 25 U.S. states as well as, unexpectedly even to him, Japan.