There are many paths to becoming a roaster/cafe. Some begin with the cafe, serving coffee from another roaster or roasters before deciding to make the ultimate plunge into the yet-unexplored world of roasting. Others being life as a roaster, creating profiles in a small roasting space (sometimes even a garage) or renting time on someone else's equipment. The latter path was the one taken by Los Angeles' Compelling Coffee.
For seven years now, owner Kian Abedini has been roasting coffee under the Compelling Coffee moniker, though it originally had an “and Rich” spliced in the middle. Abedini roasted primarily for others, be they wholesale accounts or retail customers, but now, in 2019 Compelling is going in for themselves and completing the other half of the roaster/cafe equation. Set in the Line Lofts building in the Hollywood Hills, this first Compelling cafe is a proof of concept for the company, with success leading to other larger, more grand-scale projects over the coming year. But first, Abedini and Compelling have their eyes set on getting this first cafe off the ground. So let's go to LA to visit a familiar name to the coffee scene, but one completely new storefront signage.
As told to Sprudge by Kian Abedini.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
We're a wholesale coffee roaster and cafe partner from Los Angeles, California.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We're excited to open in the 2019 AIA|LA Residential Architecture Award-winning Line Lofts building in the Hollywood Hills. The space itself is 300 square feet, and will have a small kitchen, interior, and patio seating, and a takeout window. We're planning on approaching this first space as a less-risky way of testing what works and expanding that to the larger cafes we're planning around LA over the next year.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach is to find exceptional coffees and make them accessible. While we've won awards for our lighter single origins, we've experienced that generally the majority of coffee consumers aren't looking for a super acidic, complex cup every day; we try to find sweet, clean coffees, and roast them with enough development that they express ripe fruit flavors while still extracting easily for baristas of any skill level.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
How is your project considering sustainability?
We will be stocking only biodegradable cups and serviceware, along with asking our vendors to only make deliveries in recycled or compostable packaging.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We're working with local Fathom Design Studio to build out our space. Our food program will be heavily informed by local producers from the nearby Hollywood Farmers market, and supplemented by local bakers Farmshop.
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