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Hidden Gems: Meet Daniel James of Red Window Coffee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel James.

Hi Daniel, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hey thanks for having us! So Leah and I moved to the USA from Australia for music, which we still do full time. We live in the valley and at the time there was literally no good coffee around! We kept walking past this little dilapidated building close to our house and eventually approached the owner of the property and said if the current tenant ever wanted out, we would love to make a coffee shop out of it! Sure enough, two months later, she called and said ‘ it’s all yours’. So we knocked it down and rebuilt (and clad it in Australian heritage brick from the brick pit in Sydney) and turned it into the tiniest coffee shop in LA!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It really has been honestly. Surprisingly enough, it’s been just the little gift that keeps on giving. It’s such a neighborhood favorite now, so we are pretty consistent in how much business we do and thankfully stayed open throughout the whole pandemic since it’s just a walk up window. We still do music full time so it’s awesome to have something that just runs itself for the most part; and we have the most incredible team. We are about to expand to two more locations and just sort of keep repeating the same concept. As we expand, our main focus will be quality control. We never want to sacrifice quality for turnover.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Well I guess our fundamental approach is specialty coffee without the snobbery. Australians are very social outgoing people. Our first thing is ALWAYS customer service. When we interview, we just chat and see how the person can hold a conversation. Do they get humor? Can they roll with banter? THEN we taste their coffee. If both boxes check out, it’s a fit. Coffee can be taught, personality can’t!!. Our vision has always been community, endeavoring to make every customer walk away feeling better than how they walked up. As far as our product goes- we don’t cut any corners on produce and protocol. We believe excellence and consistency is everything. What sets us apart is our Aussie twist on everything we do. Every drink can be ordered ‘Aussie style’ which is bitter chocolate sprinkled on your espresso drink. We also have Aussie breakfast pies and soon to have lamingtons and vanilla/caramel slices. Branding wise we believe in a bold simplistic approach. The red window is a hand-painted red square by yours truly. And something that is easily identified. I think what specifically sets us apart is the disruptive nature of our concept… and also the culture of red window which is very family… Leah and I are very anti-corporate in the way we operate, and I think that’s evident in the people we hire and the experience we create!

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
We love LA! It’s an exciting vibrant city with endless possibilities… People move here with a dream, as we did, wide-eyed and full of wonder and that’s a beautiful thing. I think the hardest thing about this city is the disconnection. People are so busy pursuing their own success that they miss out on connection. We try and pull some of the European philosophy into our life…. the family dinners, the moments of recharging. If you’re just on the grind 24/7 you literally miss life passing you by. Work to live not live to work!

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Sydney Warren

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