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Inspiring Conversations with Nestor Enciso of Helping Hands Coffee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nestor Enciso.

Hi Nestor, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I began my journey while attending college and working at Tierra Mia Coffee in 2011. It was a hobby that grew into a passion. I fell in love working in the coffee industry by being able to build close relationships with customers and the community while serving my favorite beverage—coffee.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Helping Hands Coffee has had great opportunities and has also faced some challenges throughout its establishment. It began as a nonprofit; therefore, my first challenge was finances. I used to fund everything on my own. Eventually, donations began to pour in and it made my finances much smoother. My biggest personal challenge was during the middle of the pandemic of 2020 where many of my immediate family members and good friends were seriously ill or even died from the coronavirus. In addition, both of my parents and my longtime partner tested positive for COVID and were critically ill and hospitalized during the pandemic. These challenges took a huge toll on me emotionally and physically. I was very concerned with their well-being daily, which made it very difficult for me to continue running Helping Hands Coffee. However, I continued working my day job and running food distributions with Helping Hands Coffee. I was very fortunate with the tons of support, which made everything a little easier. I still cannot express my gratitude to the many supporters who helped me during this unprecedented time.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Helping Hands began in 2020 as a specialty coffee nonprofit during the pandemic to help underserved communities. My team and I collaborated with many organizations all over Los Angeles County. It slowly grew, and I began receiving donations and receiving a helping hand from many volunteers. We’ve donated to thousands of families and helped dozens of organizations since.

We then transitioned into a business in July of 2021, with the city of Lynwood endorsing us. Our core value has always been the spirit of giving back and being surrounded by so many people who share the same value. Our vision is to provide a community space in Lynwood while continuing to promote community building through action-based service work for surrounding cities.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was a trouble maker as a child, so I was introduced to sports—one of them being martial arts. This helped me become disciplined, patient and gained social skills. These skills built my character that I still use today and for my small business too…

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Image Credits:

Adolph Lopez Kevin Turcios

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