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Meet Vanessa Punche of L.A. Grind Coffee & Tea Bar-Your Coffeehouse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Punche.

Vanessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I didn’t choose this business, this business chose me. On 4/12/18 when two African American men were arrested at a Starbucks in PA, I knew that I could no longer support Starbucks because they do not support people who look like me. I told myself, “we need our own.”

At the time I had no idea what that looked like. Since launching my business on 7/17/18, I found a coffee roaster, started selling L.A. Grind’s own coffee from Cameroon, bought a truck for a coffee truck build out, and I provided hot chocolate, from a proprietary blend that I came up with, for 3000 people in December. Now we sell that proprietary blend along with our Cameroonian coffee. In May 2019, I’ll be retiring from my job after 22 years to work my side-hustle full time.

I’m so passionate about what I’m doing that it doesn’t feel like working. I love connecting with people to provide great products and excellent customer service. I hope to inspire young people, especially women of color to find something they’re passionate about. Find something that’s broke and fix it! You’re never too young or old!

We’re looking forward to serving amazing coffee, teas, and hot cocoa in the very near future, from our coffee truck and connecting with people in and around the city of LA.

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?
For the most part, the road has been smooth. It just confirms what I’m doing it right! But my biggest struggle is funding. Being a startup, you tend to use all your extra income on your business or use your credit cards for funding. A company who could loan to startups without the strict guidelines would be great!

Please tell us about L.A. Grind Coffee & Tea Bar-Your Coffeehouse on Wheels.
I am the driving force behind L.A. Grind Coffee & Tea Bar. I consider myself a hot/cold beverage caterer and a coffeepreneuer. All of our products are original, from our single origin coffee from Cameroon, our proprietary blend of hot cocoa and our tropical tea. All of the superior products and our customer service sets us apart. We are proud to connect with others.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memories were summer times in Los Angeles, riding bikes to Venice beach and back home with my twin sister. That’s when you were free to be kids.

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