Your New Favorite Coffee Destination: Spare Room Coffee LA

May 2, 2018

Spare Room Coffee is the creation of Sam Han and Jonny Low, UCLA students with an indie coffee pop-up looking to combine coffee and community. Featuring pour over and cold brew from Cat & Cloud Coffee, Oatly oat milk, and fresh pastries, Spare Room attracts students and those that happen upon their weekly pop-up and pop-ups at various events like JACOMA brunches. We caught up with Sam to talk about startups, the LA coffee scene, and more.


 photography by Ashley Seryn (@ashleyseryn)



Who are you and what do you do?


My name is Sam Han. I am currently finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in English at UCLA while working at G&B Coffee in Grand Central Market and running The Spare Room Coffee popup every Wednesday morning.



Why do you do what you do?


I love coffee, and I love people. The coffee industry is pretty much the perfect marriage of those two things since the industry is heavily based and dependent on relationships. From the farm that grows the coffee to the people roasting it to the barista preparing it, every step in the supply chain requires genuine human communication and coffee-preparing skill to deliver a positive experience to the people who eventually consume it.


I remember being in your dorm last year and you making me pour over coffee at a little set-up at your desk. Now you have your own coffee business. How did that all happen?


This last summer, I had a job at Peet’s Coffee in Westwood, which is where I fell in love with customer service. This prompted me to discard my filmmaking dreams, and lead to a job at Bodega Coffee/Wine Bar in Santa Monica where I learned more about how to prepare high-quality coffee. At the same time, I knew I wanted my own cafe someday, one that would service the needs of the community it would eventually be a part of. I saw a need in Westwood for this kind of hospitality-focused coffee shop. More than providing a place to get good coffee, I wanted to provide a space for people to get their days off to a good start. A really positive interaction early in the day can set the mood for the rest of the day.



What’s the inside scoop on the LA coffee scene?



There are a lot of good coffee shops popping up everywhere. The east side of LA has a lot of wonderful cafes while the westside and south LA have been seeing more growth. That being said, there is still a lot of demand and room for more coffee shops all over LA. I am biased in saying this because I work for them, but expect some really awesome things from G&B/Go Get ‘Em Tiger in the near future.



photography by Ashley Seryn (@ashleyseryn)



You mentioned finding a balance between sustainable business practices and practices that encourage growth. Say a little more about that.


Ideally, a business will provide legitimate careers for all of its employees and not just the executives and owners. Therefore, that business needs to be sustainable for its employees, and that often looks like having and executing a business growth plan well in order to meet the needs of its employees.



Words of wisdom for those looking to start a business?


If you aren’t good with spreadsheets and finances, either learn how to be or find someone who is. That and surround yourself with people who can not only help make your business a reality but help it become something beyond what you imagined. Starting a business is really difficult, but it’s much more exciting and bearable when you are starting one with like-minded people.




For our LA readers, here’s an event to look out for...



The Spare Room Coffee Pop-Up

Wednesdays 7:30 am - 11:30 pm,

627 Levering Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90024


Keep in the loop:

Instagram @thespareroomcoffee


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© Copyright 2018 Giselle Melendres - Mad Sounds Magazine

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