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Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Coffee Shop Brewing Up New Competition

THE BRIEFING Coffee Shop Brewing Up New Competition The increasingly oligarchic coffee world presents a daunting environment for small business owners trying to carve out their own niche. However, Gus Ibarra, Nancy Rodriguez, Teresa Ibarra and Robert C. Leon, owners of the recently opened Just Coffee shop in Glendale, are attempting to succeed in the face of huge competition. Born in Glendale and raised in Glassell Park, Gus Ibarra is new to the coffee world. However, he attempts to combat a lack of experience with a diligent work ethic, toiling nine hours a day as an aerospace engineer at Hydro Air, and spending another six at Just Coffee. No stranger to a long workday, Ibarra paid his way through Cal State L.A. while working at Universal Studios on the backstage crew for films such as “The Flintstones” and”Beetlejuice.” Rodriguez, Ibarra’s wife of one year, certainly understands the intricacies of the coffee world, having worked for the previous seven years at a coffee shop in La Canada Flintridge. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Rodriguez immigrated when she was 14 years old, and has lived in Glendale ever since. In addition to co-owning the business, Rodriguez also manages the store from opening until closing. “We wanted to start our own business and be our own bosses, and since my wife had previously worked in a coffee shop she knew a great deal about the business. The coffee business has low inventory and start-up costs and seemed to be an ideal first business.” “Running the store has been a lot more work than we anticipated. The hours are long and we have to put up with each other for sometimes sixteen hours a day. At times, it can get extremely frustrating because no one walks through the door.” “Business has been slightly on the incline. We really enjoy when customers tell us that the coffee is really good and that the service is excellent. We’re very customer oriented. There’s going to be those big companies with a fixed clientele, but you can attract people that are frustrated with all the big companies in the world.” “We’ve loved owning a business so far, despite all the ups and downs there’s nothing better than watching your store grow. We just try to offer friendly and fast service, short lines, good coffee, and good food, and hopefully the store will prosper.” Jeff Weiss

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