FOUND

IMG_0423

Annie Choi owns Found Coffee in Eagle Rock. She opened shop in a retail space formerly used by an auto body shop. Driving along Colorado Blvd you can’t miss her sign perched above her large windows that keep her shop bright most of the day. Annie has a television post production background, but fell in love with coffee. After some time apprenticing with well known baristas and roasters she decided to open her own place. Her space is very well done. It’s a bit modern. It’s a bit rustic. Most importantly it is comfortable and inviting. She has a full house most days with people enjoying coffee drinks produced with her big YELLOW Marzocco espresso machine. The machine is a can’t miss and it contrasts beautifully with all the other elements that make up Found. If you haven’t been to Found take the Colorado exit off the 210 freeway and roll in. Found is on the right as soon as you get off the freeway.

IMG_0384.JPG

Your inspiration: Where does it come from?AC: My inspiration comes from traveling, people, and design. Traveling helps me to be a global citizen and gives me different perspectives of other cultures. Traveling reminds me that America is not the center of the universe. People always inspire with their stories of resilience, heart, and compassion. Good design is just so pretty to look at. I like all things vintage with pops of modern.

IMG_0437.JPG

Who is doing coffee exceptionally well right now? Who inspires you, other coffee shops?
AC: I am always inspired by design-forward shops, in particular, Maru Coffee. Coffee is always done well by Demitasse Coffee Roasters, Chromatic Coffee, Augie’s Coffee, and Peri Coffee (a micro-roaster that we carry at both Found and FrankieLucy). I’m basically inspired by any and all of the roasters that I carry on my shelves.

How do you take your coffee? Favorite places for coffee? AC: I take my coffee black. I love a delicious, medium-bodied, fruity pourover. I also really like cortados. Los Angeles is so lucky to have a wide array of amazing coffee shops. Some of my faves are Highlight Coffee, Demitasse Coffee Roasters, Maru Coffee, Stereoscope Coffee Co. (Buena Park), and Civil Coffee. But I feel so bad picking and choosing because they all have their own, unique, wonderful qualities. I know of this little place called Found Coffee in Eagle Rock. And its sister called Frankie Lucy Bakeshop in Silver Lake. Just kidding 🙂IMG_0439.JPG

What are you reading right now for fun?AC: Several books are in rotation at the moment: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Koko Be Good by Jen Wang. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Which of your senses come into play as a barista? How have your senses changed over the years? AC: Multi-tasking, if that’s a sense. It’s very important to have the overall lay of the land when you’re a barista. 

What irritates you the most?AC: Entitlement and a lack of regard for the other person. Being treated like a servant in service/hospitality.

What is your favorite pair of work shoes.AC:Comfy sneakers that have a bit of style/flair. Right now I have these slip-on sneakers from Aldo that fold over in the back — incredibly comfy. IMG_0394.JPG

Ideal day off?AC: Read and/or catch up with a loved one at a coffee shop, eat at a great restaurant, nap, snuggle with my pup.

What is something new you are creating at Found right now?AC: We’re trying to create a drink for the fall with misugaru, which is like a 9-grain powder that I grew up with. It has a warm and nutty flavor with hints of sesame. I’m trying to pair it with something else Korean-inspired for a really fun drink. At the moment, both Found and FrankieLucy have a Yuzu Cold Brew on bar that’s effervescent and refreshing. Again, I grew up with this yuzu citron tea that I drank when I was feeling under the weather. I’ve always wanted to incorporate it on my menu, and summertime is perfect for a citrus-forward cold beverage. IMG_0398.JPGIMG_0409.JPG

What is the hardest part of owning your own business?AC: I think it’s the sheer amount of people you have to answer to. It’s hard to have a private business in the public sphere. I’ve had to grow a thicker thin skin — thicker so that I let the one-star Yelp reviews roll off my back but still maintain my thin skin so I can empathize with the rough days that my customers actually do go through. Also, owning your own business means you don’t have much time off — when you’re exhausted, it’s hard to sometimes find time to rest. 

What is the most rewarding?AC: It’s the people, haha. Yes, we have to deal with the haters, but we also have really, truly, wonderful, amazing regulars. I love the locals that frequent my business. I’ve said it again and again, but my regulars are the heartbeat of my shop. They help pay my staff and help pay my bills. They ask how my parents are doing. We know their dogs and their babies. Some of the kiddos in our shops have grown up before our eyes in the last few years and months, and I look forward to seeing them in high school and beyond.  We’ve cultivated true and vibrant community, and that is so unbelievably rewarding to me. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s