Ryan and Danah Ramirez are the proud owners of a super cute coffee shop on Mission in the heart of South Pasadena. They are both architects by trade, but coffee lovers at heart. Their space is well lit and clean. Light pours in from a large skylight. The biggest draw of the shop is the huge, warm personalities of both Ryan and Danah. Never anything but optimistic, their coffee shop has become a haven for the community. It’s a place to grab something to go, but more importantly it’s a space that people gravitate to to hang out and chat and to drink a well made, handcrafted coffee. Ryan pours his heart into ever drink. The coffee is made with care and you can taste it. If you are in the neighborhood stop for awhile. You’ll feel better after hanging out with these two kids.
Your inspiration: Where does it come from?
RR: All sorts of differing and similar creative / design disciplines alike. At the forefront however, is fashion, graphic, music, industrial, and of course, culinary. If you take a sec to look around you, the built environment is a byproduct of design — It’s pretty amazing how all these things come together to create an experience!
Who is doing coffee exceptionally well right now? Who inspires you, other coffee shops?
RR: We absolutely appreciate and value the brilliant and wonderful folk at G&B Coffee (Grand Central Market), and The Conservatory for Coffee & Tea (Culver City). Two very different experiences of coffee, but each awesome in their own beautiful way.
Which of your senses come into play as a barista? How have your senses changed over the years?
RR: Oh geeze, this is a really great question — primarily taste, sight, and smell, but above all, intuition / gut. The wonderful thing about not being formally trained in coffee (or working in a coffee shop for that matter) is the fact that we’re not limited by what we know, making everything we do 99% intuitive, and 1% intellectual. We love this because it always keeps us curious and willing to explore things that we wouldn’t otherwise.Coffee aside, this more translates into our values and beliefs in life. Coffee is merely one of the many amazing platforms to share this with people.
How do you take your coffee? Favorite places for coffee?
RR: We’re pretty boring when it comes to consuming coffee ourselves… it’s either a drip and/or an espresso!
What are you reading right now for fun?
RR: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, which was recommended to us by a shop regular & friend of ours, Adam Robozolli. Funny enough, Danah is reading the softcover, and I’m listening to audiobook — comes to show how we filter and absorb things differently.
What irritates you the most?
RR: As much as we understand that irritation is a necessary anxiety to grow as a person, we also believe that life is too short to get angry. So what’s most irritating? Getting irritated by things that we shouldn’t otherwise be irritated by 😉
What is your favorite pair of work shoes.
RR: Nike Fly Knits… hands down! In a close second, “Newbies” (New Balance) — 574’s to be exact!
Ideal day off?
RR: For no apparent reason, Wednesday’s!
What is something new you are creating at the coffee bar right now?
RR: Beverages aside, we’re relentlessly working on ways to improve our service and hospitality — it’s by far the thing we value most as a business. It’s you, the people, who we care most for — that belief naturally carries over to any operational decision making within our entire thought process.
Also, behind the coffee bar scene, we’ve fully embraced and are continuing to develop a business culture that truly values it’s members. There’s something we always fully appreciated about seeing the owner (or one of the owner’s) behind bar — we found that this simple nuance has an incredibly powerful impact on only the way we not only connect with the people we serve, but also how we function as a business.
What is the hardest part of owning your own business?
RR: Understanding, FULLY embracing, and being aware of the fact that nothing in life is certain — inherent to life are ebbs and flows, so why freak out if that’s a given? We thrive on being comfortable with being uncomfortable, but that’s not to say that this mindset is easy!
What is the most rewarding?
RR: Knowing that, in our own way, we’re able to contribute some value to people’s lives. It’s extremely fulfilling to know that a simple cup of coffee made with TLC, a quick morning greeting, or designing something beautiful can potentially put a smile on people’s face.