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Meet Shi Jun Ng of The Assembly in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shi Jun Ng.

Shi Jun Ng, Jun for short was born and raised in Singapore. She moved to the United States to attend college and has called sunny Los Angeles her home since. After seven years in the advertising industry, she took a leap of faith and embarked on a new career path. Taking a page from her grandfather’s book (the owner of a bustling neighborhood general store that was the cornerstone of its community), she set out to create a space that was functional, inspiring, and which would coherently integrate her passion for design, craft and positive (social) change through entrepreneurship.

The result is her brainchild The Assembly — a café, retail and community space that aims to serve others and be able to give back to the community. Its offerings include the acclaimed Counter Counter Coffee of Durham, NC as well pastries from local favorite Farmshop. Local artisans have been tapped for much of the design elements in the space, and local designers and creatives also contribute to The Assembly’s curated retail offerings. Local artists’ work are also featured in art installations and creative events in the space, where The Assembly aims to foster community by sharing new ideas and experiences.

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?
Owning a small business is a challenge in and of itself – HA! We’ve certainly experienced our fair share of obstacles from delays in the initial construction/buildout of the space to have another specialty coffee shop backed by a multi-million-dollar restaurant group open around the corner from us.

In a small business, you are constantly experiencing extreme highs and extreme lows – to keep your wits about you; you’ve got to learn not to get too affected by either.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Assembly – what should we know?
The Assembly is an independent, LGBTQ and woman-owned specialty coffee shop in the heart of the West Hollywood Design District on the iconic Robertson Blvd.

At The Assembly, we seek to create an inviting space for the community, where coffee serves as the invitation for people to gather and engage in meaningful exchange and conversation. In addition to coffee, we retail crafts/goods from local artisans and other small business owners (i.e., Poketo and Plant Ground Bloom). We also open our space to local artists and feature their work through our monthly artist-in-residence program.

We consider the social, environmental and economic impact our decisions have on our local and global community. That’s why we focus on sustainable and ethical sourcing by selecting our partners carefully, making sure to establish partnerships with businesses who champion and practice the same values. We proudly serve Counter Culture Coffee, August Uncommon Tea,
 Art of Tea, Farmshop (pastries, salads, sandwiches), Donut Snob, Croft Alley (salads, sandwiches, other small bites) and Little West Juice.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Tenacity and agility. Over the years, I’ve learned to persevere through obstacles, and always to be willing to adapt and roll with the punches.

We’re constantly evolving as a business, by listening to what the changing needs of our community and customers are, and doing our best (while always staying true to our core values and ethos as a business) to meet those needs.

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