I grew up in the American Pacific Northwest, and in this corner of the country you get a kind of caricatured understanding of what other parts of America are like. It doesn't rain as much everywhere else, except for in Alaska, where it rains even more. The Midwest is a corn field with Chicago and some college towns; the Bay Area is a sports rival and chill vacation spot; Los Angeles is home to a culture so abhorrent, so outlandishly vapid and opposed to our own that it launched a thousand Ben Gibbard songs.
New York is big and busy and we can't relate, but we love it when The Times visits. Texas is George W. Bush and bar-b-que; Florida is theme parks and old people; Washington D.C. is a disgustingly hot August school trip to visit the monuments, and on it goes.
Of course, over time most people come to learn that these stereotypes are misinformed. Los Angeles is actually really great (in parts!) and claims no monopoly on vapid, trendy people. The Midwest is vast and vastly different, and you'd never mix up someone from Wisconsin for someone from Missouri. Washington D.C. *is* disgustingly hot, but that just adds to the intrigue.
There are a lot of national stereotypes about the city of Riverside, California informed by a wide variety of influences but most especially by the comedian Adam Carolla, who hosted the radio call-in sex advice program Loveline for the decade between 1995 and 2005 with Dr. Drew Pinsky. The program informed a thousand Generation Y puberties—my own included—and presaged today's modern era of the podcast. One of Carolla's favorite topics was the city of Riverside, California, which he would mercilessly mock at every turn. Calling in from Riverside? Well, that's your problem right there.
Stereotypes are rarely true, and traveling for Sprudge has helped me dispel so many of them. There's a bunch of cool stuff in the Inland Empire, and it's home to a thriving coffee scene with roasters like Augie's Coffee and Lift Coffee. You can still buy a house here without spending a million dollars. You're close to a bunch of stuff and it's relatively calm and quiet. For many people, it's a nice place to live, and new openings like this cafe from Lift is yet another reason why.
Dr. Drew wound up way more famous, and Adam Carolla was wrong. – JM
As told to Sprudge by Alycea Berkhoel of Lift Coffee Roasters.
For those who aren't familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Born and raised in Riverside, California, Lift Coffee Roasters is built up of a team that values people and precision above all. We believe in using our passion for specialty coffee to build and transform community.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our new space is located in the historic district of Whittier, California. This corner property will be a perfect spot to start integrating specialty coffee into a city that does not have much of a coffee community foundation.
What is your approach to coffee?
It's simple really,
coffee is our passion
experience is our focus
community is the result.
… make it good… serve it nice.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
What is your hopeful target opening date/month?
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and or creatives that you would like to mention?
Local artist Cosmin. We contracted Cosmin to paint a mural on our new building. We are proud to say this mural is the first approved public art piece since the city was incorporated in 1898. Another example of how specialty coffee is a vehicle for transforming communities.
Photos courtesy of Alycea Berkhoel.