MOBILE CRAFT COFFEE
ON LOCATION • ON SET
WE ARE CAFABLANCA
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have operated as street vendors,
serving 100% donation-based beverages outdoors to help keep our community safe
We are inspired by the iconic style and anti-fascist sentiment of the classic American film, Casablanca
So how did we get here?
A MOBILE COFFEE BUSINESS
BORN OUT OF GENEROSITY
It was the spring of 2018. I was living in Berkeley, slinging espresso shots in this Americana café that had just opened on the nearby Oakland border. One day a customer approached my counter and introduced himself as Henry.
I gotta say, you make a great cappuccino
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it
This is random, but I'm trying to build this mobile espresso bar thingy.
The thing is, I need to film a short video--
I do film work
It was an understatement. I was bored behind that coffee counter, daydreaming of spending my days on film sets, wondering if I would ever find out if my great-grandfather made a movie poster for Casablanca.
Maybe you can help me out?
I flipped the OPEN sign CLOSED, staged the espresso bar, hit the lights, and helped this perfect stranger produce a video for what was to become a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Henry used donations to transform an imported auto-rickshaw into the west coast's cutest mobile coffee shop.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship
Neither of us knew then that fate would hand the keys over to yours truly
Or that I would drive this buzzy yellow buggy down to Los Angeles
And call it Cafablanca
LOVE AND COFFEE
IN A TIME OF CRISIS
While towing a coffee cart, I was also following my heart, and the first thing I did when I got to LA was fall in love. Juan would become my life partner, then my business partner, and finally my best friend. My first and fiercest supporter. The two of us parked Cafablanca in Hollywood at the most turbulent time possible:
As Juan and I were setting up one of Cafablanca's first pop-ups, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and several others were killed in a helicopter crash just a few miles away. Devastated by the news, we found a Kobe mural and passed out free coffee to a stream of mourning fans. This impromptu gesture landed us within our target market for our very first paid gig: serving craft coffee in a television studio
It was a dream come true, but within weeks of Cafablanca's debut another tragedy forced us to slam on the breaks. COVID-19 changed our world overnight and ravaged our country's economy, healthcare system and global standing.
FINDING A NEW PURPOSE
Cafablanca has had a lot of time to sit in the parking lot and think.
During the pandemic, the need for real change and real justice became a matter of life or death for everyone.
Climate change is the clear and urgent humanitarian issue of our time.
Children belong with their families and we advocate for the abolition of I.C.E.
White supremacist domestic terrorism is a direct threat to every American community and to Democracy itself.
All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter. Working to dismantle systemic racism is the only way forward.
The problems of our little 3 wheel coffee cart don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
Cafablanca understands that so many of our common struggles stem from capitalist greed.
We question how a new business in today's economy can contribute to an equitable future for all...