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Meet Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas of Sip & Sonder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas.

Amanda-Jan and Shanita, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We are both practicing attorneys, and that’s how we met, at one of our old law firms.

After we both left that firm, we remained friends and would frequently talk about our dreams, passions, and aspirations. The idea for Sip & Sonder was born during one of those many discussions.

Sip & Sonder was really a response to the great amount of talent and creativity in our communities, the lack of outlets for expression and connection–both personally and professionally–and our passions for coffee and tea.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We’ve certainly had our fair share of trials and setbacks along the way while building Sip & Sonder. Going through the permitting process was tough, and really taught us the importance of patience with the process. And generally, we’ve experienced the growing pains of any new business. But the reactions we’ve gotten from our customers, neighbors, and partners make it all worthwhile–this makes us want to work even harder so we can continue making them proud.

Sip & Sonder – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Sip & Sonder is an entrepreneurial and creative hub located in Downtown Inglewood that houses a cafe-bar, multi-purpose event space and upcoming production studio. Where coffee meets, the creative meets the entrepreneurial. We pride ourselves on our specialty coffee program, which is tried and appreciated by coffee aficionados and newbies alike!

In addition to our specialty coffee program, what makes Sip & Sonder unique is the space itself, and the vibe felt throughout. We’ve consciously created, along with our community, an inviting, open, and accessible space that is conducive to people spending time and connecting with one another.

We strongly believe that spaces such as ours are not only inspiring and empowering, but also necessary today more than ever. At Sip & Sonder, people can just be. Our tagline, “For the Community. For the Culture.” Exemplifies our intentions in making sure that our space is open for the community to mold it into what is needed.

We want our presence to give economic opportunities to other individuals in the community, whether that be through collaboration on events or intentional vendor opportunities. We also have a range of proprietary programs, events, and partnerships, which we are excited to roll out.

Sip & Sonder is loud, complex, beautiful, creative, mindful, intellectual, Black, unapologetic, warm, raw, uplifting, top quality, genuine, safe, and truly one-of-a-kind.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
That’d have to be opening our doors for the very first day and finally being able to serve our community. Our first customer ordered a drip coffee and horchata morning bun, and left satisfied! That moment was the culmination of months of hard work, vision, and dedication, and we couldn’t have been prouder.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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