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Meet Joshua Sadinsky of Twinkle Beans Coffee Roastery in Santa Clarita Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua Sadinsky.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Joshua. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a Taiwanese Jew, born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Long story short: I got to where I am today because of my mother. My father passed away when I was just four years old, so any semblance of a normal childhood was marred by the constant reminder that my circumstances were never going to be normal. Integrity, honesty, community, faith, hard work, compassion—these are all character traits that my mother instilled in me from a young age. They say it takes a village, and I owe it to family, friends, and educators for where I am today. Dr. Kashiwagi and Miho both made it possible for me to take my piano playing to a new level when preparing for college applications.

I started piano at seven years old with Mark at the Suzuki music school in Arkansas. Mark is an amazing piano teacher who taught me to love many styles of music. Growing up, I competed every year in state and regional competitions. I won almost every statewide piano competition growing up, and got comfortable being the big fish in a small pond. In college, I experienced jealousy issues when I compared myself to younger pianists, usually prodigies (I am not a prodigy by any means, hah!). My childhood piano competitions conditioned me to measure my worth as a musician by comparing myself to others. Today, I am still unlearning these old patterns of behavior, recognizing that my contributions to this world are unique and can’t be compared to others’ contributions.

At Cornell, Xak and Ryan both helped me uncover my special relationship with sound. In my second and third year of college, I played a lot of Ravel and became obsessed with field recorded nature sounds. I also became deeply involved in Cornell Outdoor Education and guided backcountry excursions in upstate New York. Because of the skills I acquired at COE, I was able to go on the quest for “one square-inch of silence”—an acoustic ecology conservation project by Gordon Hempton—by backpacking in Olympic National Park. I recorded my first field recording album in Olympic. Since then, my musical and field recording work interrogate themes of transience and intersectionality.

I’m super excited to be mid-way through my master’s degree at the California Institute of the Arts where I’m studying piano with Vicki. CalArts is a magical place. It’s the only school where I practice piano in the morning, hear jazz at midday, drum in an African ensemble in the afternoon, attend experimental recitals in the evening, and jam with friends in the after-hours. It’s the only place where I experience perspective-broadening artwork in our galleries every Thursday night. And by the time I’ve biked home in the dark, I’m exhausted and ready to do it again. Coronavirus has put these experiences on halt, but I am still tuned in to the collaborative energies that make CalArts such a special place.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
“Smelly Jew!”

“Brown-haired Jewish freak!”

“Show us some of your kung-fu moves!”

I’m currently reading a book by Sister Dang Nghiem called Mindfulness as Medicine. On the back cover reads: “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” I got bullied a lot as a kid for being both Asian and Jewish, but I feel that my experiences growing up have made me more empathetic to others’ pain.

One day in early 2016, I got a call from my friend Summer. She told me that our best friend from high-school had shot and killed herself. We all used to play and sing in a band in high-school together. I was numb and shocked. For one whole year, it felt like I was sleeping, and I pushed thoughts of R out of my mind. Alas, grief works in funny ways, and one evening I “awoke” and was struck with waves of intense grief. From that moment onwards and for the next several months, I would sit and weep uncontrollably in the practice room, night after night. I promised myself in the practice room that I would do whatever it took to stay true to my commitment to music and sound. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give up music. Even today, it can be hard for me to stay motivated. But every time I feel this way, I remember the joy that R brought to her music and to others, and I remember the promise that I made to myself in the practice room. If not for my sake, then for her’s.

Like Sister Dang says, suffering is optional, and I am grateful to see things in perspective today. Because I was able to mourn and allow myself to feel pain, I was able to start the healing process and grow. I feel grounded and connected to myself and others. Working on myself from the inside out has made me a better listener. For me, life begins when I open my ears—to the sounds of music, to the sounds of the world, and to the sounds of my brethren. Now more than ever, we need to listen to those who are oppressed by systems of discrimination and act as a sounding board to amplify their voices. When we open our ears, we open our hearts.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Twinkle Beans Coffee Roastery – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am currently in the process of starting a small business called Twinkle Beans Coffee. When Coronavirus broke out, I wanted to find a way to spread joy by sending out hand-roasted coffee to my family and friends. After their positive feedback, I decided to increase my production capacity. Within three months, I knew it was time to take production more seriously and ask friends and family for a small investment to purchase a small-scale commercial coffee roaster. Hopefully, things will be up and running by the middle of July.

I’d like to give a special shout-out to the current family that I live with. Vicky has advised me for many hours about operating a small business, and Twinkle Beans wouldn’t have been possible without her help and resources. I also owe it to my team at Twinkle Beans, and my friends and family who have supported me to get this project up and running.

Born and raised by a single immigrant parent, I know the importance of community. My experiences with racial and religious discrimination as a child could’ve made me a bitter person; instead, I grew to realize the importance of treating everyone with love and respect, even if they had done me wrong in the past. It’s important to lift up others in our community, especially those who are victims of discrimination. The mission of Twinkle Beans Coffee is to provide high-quality coffee to customers and to mobilize 10% of our profits to address pressing issues in the United States. Since the beginning of this business, Twinkle Beans Coffee has raised $50 for No Kid Hungry and $150 for LA’s People’s City Council Freedom Fund. Financial support for organizations like these is only the beginning of what is possible for Twinkle Beans. I believe that with the growth of Twinkle Beans, we will be able to spread positivity and uplift many others in need.

Why does Twinkle Beans Coffee stand out amongst coffee roasters? I am no stranger to excellence in coffee standards. Fayetteville, Arkansas is the home of Onyx Coffee Lab, whose motto is “never settle for good enough.” The same philosophy governs the way Twinkle Beans treats the coffee business. The key to crafting our excellent coffee is sourcing beans from a reputable green coffee business based out of Oakland, CA. Our source focuses on building close relationships with their farmers. They’re not only tirelessly committed to quality but are also transparent, ethical, and trustworthy. I will never settle for good enough, and I know that this strong work ethic will be made abundantly clear in the quality of coffee that I deliver to my customers.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
How is music related to coffee, you might ask? It might seem like coffee is a big departure from my background in music. As I was building Twinkle Beans, I realized that starting a business is a team effort. Like music, we must collaborate and work together to make something beautiful happen. Also, coffee involves all of the senses. In the same way that musicians must pay endless attention to detail, coffee roasting involves meticulous attention to quantitative and qualitative measurements from start to finish.

As far as continuing education is concerned, I am also in the process of applying for a Fulbright scholarship. The goal is to apprentice with a lady named Leila Fan, the founder of the Soundscape Association of Taiwan. My dream is to learn Chinese and travel around Taiwan to make field recordings of natural sounds, with a focus on understanding indigenous connections to the environment and sonic practices.

For now, it’s about maintaining razor-sharp focus on all aspects of life that I’m currently juggling. Starting a business and practicing as a full-time music student is challenging. Excellent time management is the name of the game. The end goal is to find my unique way of uplifting others around me, especially those who are victims of discrimination. I intend on doing this in the two ways I know best: spreading love through coffee, and spreading love through music:) <3

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jennifer Mahan and Matthew Mikkelsen

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1 Comment

  1. Vicky Nelson

    July 6, 2020 at 16:24

    What a great story! I look forward to reading more about Joshua and to watching his rising star soar into the world and Spread Love

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