As a born and raised native Angeleno, I thought that Hollywood would be the perfect place to do what I love: tell stories. A career in movies and television therefore made “perfect” sense.
After a short 18 months of working on popular shows, (i.e. Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Real World) I was able to attain the position of Additional Video Editor on one of the most well-revered shows in television—Project Runway.
But I was unhappy. Leaving a career is almost always a hard decision, and it was especially difficult for me. This is where coffee entered the picture.
Even while I was working in the entertainment industry, I wanted to open a coffee shop in Los Angeles. A coffee shop is a place filled with stories: the baristas’ and customers’ personal life stories, the spirit of the neighborhood the coffee shop is located in, and even down to the coffee’s journey into the customer’s hands itself. And in the lonely place that Los Angeles can sometimes be, stories amongst community is essential.
My background also lends itself to my reasons for opening up a small business. Currently, my parents own and operate an independent acupuncture clinic. My father owned a multitude of small businesses throughout his own career (i.e. mobile grocery truck, denim clothing factory, used car dealership). It is no coincidence that I inherited my parents’ entrepreneurial spirit.
My coffee background started with Demitasse Coffee Roasters, a premiere and well-respected specialty coffee shop, as the former full-time General Manager at their Santa Monica location. I started at the company in March 2013, and within a mere four months, I was promoted from Intern to Barista to Director of Social Media to Manager.
With the help of generous Kiva lenders, I was able to secure my first Kiva loan in the matter of 16 hours — a record for Kiva borrowers in Los Angeles! With that loan, I was able to purchase vital equipment to start my first coffee shop, Found Coffee, in the Eagle Rock neighborhood in Los Angeles. We opened our doors in February 2015. Found Coffee is a coffee shop where people are able to find themselves and find community—just as I have in my own life and in LA.
Where I’m at today: I’ve discovered that my passion is creating spaces that gather people from diverse backgrounds. I can’t wait to do that with my second bakery + coffee shop, FrankieLucy Bakeshop.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
FrankieLucy Bakeshop is a collaborative project between the owners of Found Coffee and Crème Caramel LA. Kristine de la Cruz and Sean Gilleland are the co-owners and custard purveyors at Crème Caramel LA. Kristine, Sean, and I will be opening a brick-and-mortor location together in the neighborhood of Silverlake in LA! We’re bringing our love of coffee and custard together into a powerhouse of awesome treats and fantastic customer service.
A little background on my business partners: Crème Caramel LA got its start in farmers’ markets in East Hollywood from Silverlake FM to Atwater Village FM to Echo Park FM to Barnsdall FM and 11 other farmers’ market locations in Los Angeles. Since opening the Sherman Oaks brick and mortar in 2013, (the only Valley mention on Eater LA’s pastry map!), they’ve missed their customers in the Eastside and have been looking forward to bringing their Filipino “Leche Flan” custard back in a slew of delicious treats: crème caramel, custard pies, bread pudding, budinos and more!
We’re aiming for a Fall 2016 opening and are launching Indiegogo and Kiva campaigns to raise funds to contribute to the capital budget and buildout. Early contributors will gain access to exclusive pop-ups, events, and free swag leading up to the late 2016 opening. For more information, please visit our website on frankielucybakeshop.com.
Just like Found Coffee is meant to be a gathering place for Angelenos to enjoy coffee, tea, pastries, and each other’s company, I hope that FrankieLucy will serve a similar purpose. The main operation of the business is to provide high quality specialty coffee and amazing custards and baked goods to the public on a daily basis.
Almost every multi-roaster specialty coffee shop in Los Angeles currently carries coffees from elsewhere in the United States or Canada. Popular roasters are Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters or Calgary’s Phil & Sebastian. FrankieLucy will be set apart as a company that focuses on seeking wonderful coffee from within California’s very borders. I hope to infuse California in the details within FrankieLucy—from hiring California artists for the interior to carrying coffee from California roasters; I’ve stuck with this vision for the most part Because I am California born-and-raised, my love for my home state will be reflected within the walls of Found. I hope that Found clientele will foster an appreciation for and bring continued support to the vendors that come from their very community.
What is the purpose of this loan?
This Kiva Zip loan will be used to purchase the initial essential equipment that FrankieLucy Bakeshop needs to operate. Without this equipment, quality espresso drinks cannot be made. I will need the loan to purchase the following in order make espresso drinks, both hot and iced:
1) 3-4 coffee grinders ($6,000) 2) 1 under-counter refrigerator to store milk ($1,000) 3) 1 ice machine ($2,000) 4) 1 hot water tower ($1,000)
This loan will help alleviate a portion of the startup costs to this business. On a community level, I hope to raise funds through my network of supporters so that they, too, feel personally invested in a local business–community building community.
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years
A loan of $10,000 helps Annie build out an amazing coffee + bakery space for the Silverlake community.