To Top

Meet Efrain Martinez of Zapotec Cafe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Efrain Martinez.

Efrain, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My name is Efrain, also known as The Eskwilax and Ezequiel was a friend of mine who passed away in 2016 we are both DACA recipients. After four years of serving the community, Zapotec Cafe has hit tough times due to the closure of the sixth street bridge. We started under a different name in 2014, but as of 2016, we have been known as Zapotec Cafe. I opened this location with help from friends from Vees Cafe and my good friend Ezequiel Fabian. We have been serving healthier food choices since day one, but most importantly we have always been about coffee, comida and community.

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?
I opened the location in 2014 with Ezequiel Fabian, unfortunately, Ezequiel passed away in a car accident in 2016. This was a very sad time for his family and friends as we were all in disbelief. This year our sales took a hit due to the closure of The Sixth Street Bridge that was supposed to be done by 2018. Along the way, our bills have stacked up and every day for us is another day to keep fighting to keep our doors open.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Zapotec Cafe – what should we know?
We serve sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoothies and espresso drinks such as our famous Mocha Zapoteco. We have a seasonal food menu that rotates and gives people a chance to try many different dishes throughout the year.

What sets up apart is our service and our involvement in the community because we try to give back as much as we can. We have done open mics, clothing drives, mini art walks and many other events to give back.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The reason that we are still here giving it our 100 percent is resilience, we have been able to bounce back from every hit we have taken. I’m not the type of person that gives up easily.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photography by Hokin

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in