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Meet Tadeh Ghazalian of Dialog Cafe in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tadeh Ghazalian.

Tadeh, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started off as a CPA by trade. I went to school at USC and graduated with a Masters in accounting, practicing CPA working the corporate dream. While I was working my way up I found myself getting more and more involved in the family business. I quickly realized my passion wasn’t for numbers, it was for hospitality, specifically within coffee. I started to discover all the wonders of specialty coffee. I learned methods of roasting coffee which lead to a relationship with guys like Jonathon from Barista Water, and Leif from Stereoscope, whom I still work with today. I dabbled in latte art competitions to enhance the aesthetics of our coffee. I learned the art of espresso from my father’s Italian way, a culture of coffee from my Armenian heritage, and the quality of all my specialty coffee friends in Los Angeles. Over the years, the cafe has built ties at the Santa Monica Farmers Market to third generation family farmers to produce a fresh farm to table experience. The cafe has gone from a small “go to” cafe to one of the busiest local spots to grab coffee and brunch in West Hollywood.

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?
No road is perfectly smooth, living in any city, I think we know that. I never went to culinary school. everything I learned was from curiosity and from others. So many of the skills I needed to run a cafe, I learned within my own business. I looked at the cafe in a systematic way which brought a different perspective to how the cafe ran. Our team had to be smart and talented, but they also needed to be trained systematically to perform what I call the daily dance. The hardest struggle I have faced is finding the right people. It has taken years to develop the team we have now. I am so proud to be where I am today but I couldn’t have done it without the help of our entire team.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Dialog is a family owned cafe. We specialize in coffee, privately roasted, and perfected through taste experimenting. We are known for having a unique farm to table experience that has been developed through relationships with third generation farmers. Our menu includes high-quality food while maintaining reasonable prices so our customers will keep coming back. We are all about the good vibes here, we want to see the smile on your face when you get our foxy latte art and see your food pictures in our tagged Instagram photos. We want our customers to have a family experience from the minute they walk in the door. Our staff knows many of our regular customers by name because we develop a much deeper relationship with people all thanks to food!

What were you like growing up?
I was raised in a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather was a hotel owner, my father and my brother owned multiple businesses. My brother even ended up being an entrepreneur of the year in one of Canada’s business journals. The expectations that I had been born with the business gene were high. The one thing they all kind of lacked was the financial aspect, but because I had been trained as a CPA and knew numbers I had something even they didn’t. I grew up in Armenian and Italian culture, food and coffee had always brought these two cultures and my own family together through meals and Armenian coffee rituals. We traveled a lot, we lived in three countries over the years, but family always came first and I think that resonates through the cafe.

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