How This Distinctive Espresso Cafe Is Brewing Success


On this ongoing sequence, we’re sharing recommendation, ideas and insights from real entrepreneurs who’re on the market doing enterprise battle every day. (Solutions have been edited and condensed for readability.)

Jeni Castro is the founding father of Coffee Dose, an eclectic cafe with 5 places in Orange County, California. Learn on to learn the way she constructed a model that delivers an expertise like no different espresso store on earth.

How did you get into the espresso enterprise?
I am a serial entrepreneur. I began Coffee Dose six years in the past after franchising my earlier firm. It was a tanning and waxing model, so I at all times joke that I went from vaginas to espresso. I am a grasp connector, and I used to be attempting to attach totally different small espresso operators in my space to hyperlink up with my buddy who was opening a hair salon. I believed it might be an excellent idea to have espresso and hair. Properly, that did not work out and I could not discover anybody involved in taking an 85-square-foot espresso bar, so I believed, properly, I can model something and promote something so let’s strive espresso! And that is how Espresso Dose was born. I had no espresso enterprise expertise in any respect. However because the serial entrepreneur does, I figured it out. Quick ahead to at the moment and we’ve 5 places and we’re on the point of hit our subsequent development section and we’re searching for a giant strategic companion.

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What’s totally different about Espresso Dose?
And we’re a really enjoyable espresso model. Our unique latte known as “Anti-Bitch Serum.” Our flagship has what we name “the diner expertise.” You stroll in and it is this pink and teal look. Every part is made contemporary every day and plenty of of our lattes have well being points like turmeric, collagen, and charcoal. We name ourselves vibe sellers as a result of we’re basically drug sellers. We’re giving the neighborhood medicine all day lengthy. Now we have those that come again for a number of drinks in a day, and I did not need individuals to eat only a bunch of crap like what’s at the moment on the market out there. Like Starbucks, think about consuming that twice a day, seven days per week? It’s going to kill you. So I needed to make actually good espresso with actually good components and serve scrumptious meals in a enjoyable house. Truthfully, it is only a fucking vibe.

Photograph credit score: Mike Carreiro

Have you ever had “actual jobs” earlier than going the entrepreneur route?
I’ve principally been an entrepreneur my entire life. I imply, I’ve labored for individuals, however I have been fired from just about each job. I labored for George Biel, who owns all the Gulfstream and Hillstone eating places. I used to be at all times attempting to transform how they managed the workers. I labored there for seven years and I used to be let go as a result of, actually, they have been simply bored with speaking to me. And so I at all times had desires of doing my very own factor. I actually love branding — taking one thing that may very well be tremendous easy or one thing that we use day by day and placing a spin on it that makes it particular.

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What are a few of the challenges of beginning your personal espresso store model?
We’re very disrespected within the coffee industry. And that is okay! The espresso neighborhood could be very small and male-dominated. It is comprised of operators who’re diehard baristas — they know each side of each piece of apparatus and journey to satisfy the farmers roast rising their beans. I would like to try this at some point, however proper now I’m targeted on getting individuals by the door. So to try this, I knew we needed to be distinctive. I’d hate to return out and have individuals say oh, properly, you realize, she’s not a espresso particular person and her meals sucks. So I needed to go one step additional and simply blow it out of the water. Our meals and drinks are wonderful, and if you order your eggs and toast, they arrive on a plate that claims “Fuck mornings.”

What’s your outlook for this development section?
I am actually stoked to search out the right companion as a result of I need these all over the place. It may be a worldwide model and I really feel like I’ve solely simply begun however I have been working my ass off for the final six years. Somebody as soon as stated that it takes 10 years to change into an in a single day success, and I really feel like I am dwelling that. I wish to personal and function as many retailers as I can for so long as I can. We have already talked with some very distinguished VCs to put out the trail of what an exit appears like down the street, but it surely’s onerous to even speak about that as a result of I am having a lot enjoyable proper now.

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Any recommendation for entrepreneurs dealing with powerful selections?
In relation to decision-making, I am just like the Magic Eight Ball. Simply shake it, see what the reply is and go for it. I like to take possibilities. I am a threat taker. I am a giant dreamer. I am additionally a manifester and I imagine in all that loopy shit. In the event you assume it, it’s going to occur. Whether or not it is simply me believing my very own bullshit, I do not know. Nevertheless it works for me. My husband thinks I am loopy — I am at all times sending him inspiring podcasts and quotes from books. However I believe for actual entrepreneurs, all of us stay in that house, proper?

Have you ever had any impactful mentors alongside the best way?
Certainly one of my greatest mentors is Alli Webb, the founding father of Drybar. She’s been a very shut buddy and a very nice mentor. She’s a visionary founder who believes that so long as you set the appropriate individuals in place, you’ll be able to develop and run a profitable firm. It is very refreshing to speak to somebody who has been by that. She’s worn many hats and got here from nothing — she simply had an incredible thought. I really like surrounding myself with individuals like that.

Photograph credit score: Jordan Shiley

What are a few of your passions outdoors the partitions of your espresso store?
I am a mom of two. I’ve a 5 and a seven-year-old there. They’re tremendous enjoyable. I am an expert eater and an expert resort stayer. I like to journey and that helps maintain me motivated. I might work 18-hour days for months straight so long as I do know a visit is on the horizon. If the journey is deliberate, I am good. Oh, and I hearken to murder podcasts. Final night time I used to be on the flagship retailer, putting in one thing late at night time. It was darkish and I am listening to the small print about some grisly demise and I am like, ‘What am I doing? That is horrible!’ I believe I really like the abuse. Working with caffeine and listening to homicide podcasts isn’t a recipe for night time’s sleep.



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