where does your inspiration come from?
it can be hard to seek out inspiration. it just kind of happens in the little moments. i was diligent about documenting things that made me feel good and provoked emotion. i was discovering why I felt those things and this became the daily practice that we used to fill an empty building. you could say Vibes became compilation of daily interactions, wonderful accidents, and diligent research.
what does Vibes Cafe mean to your community?
our community has been monumental to our success. there is nothing more special than seeing our place become a local spot to so many. the reason we built Vibes was for our family, friends, & neighbors. we wanted Vibes to not only be ours but to feel as though everyone had a stake in it.
your menu is coastal-californian inspired & the ingredients are all locally sourced. can you talk about the importance of supporting local farms?
our pillars are sustainability & wellness. as a new business there are often cheaper & less eco-friendly options but we wanted to proudly stand by our decision to put the environment first. we teamed up with the Surfrider Foundation and became the first and only certified “ocean-friendly restaurants” in Long Beach. in similar fashion to our sustainability efforts, we wanted to curate a physical space and dishes that complimented our coastal home. our dishes not only look good but taste good too! we wanted to create an experience where your health & wellness is put first.
what was the community’s reaction to the frozé machine?
the response to the froze machine can be described as completely VIRAL! We launched right before summer 2019 and had a line out the door. we joke that our business model could sustain on breakfast burritos and frozé alone! we’re so thankful for this fun drink and the opportunity to partner with Bev.
tell us about your 1,000 hands project at Vibes.
2020 proved to turn everything we knew on it’s head. we struggled to stay afloat the first half of the year and thankfully we were supported by our community. to give back, we wanted to support other sectors & members of our community while bringing joy into our space! the 1,000 hand project was born. every few months we will feature a new artist on our coffee sleeves to give their talent exposure to people that they wouldn't otherwise reach. the simple mission is to get new art into the hands of 1,000 people via none other than a coffee cup. by supporting our creatives, digital designers, muralists, and painters alike we bring a little fun and a whole lot of love and appreciation into a space.
what’s the hardest part of being a small business owner?
when starting our business, i felt the pressure to constantly prove myself. explaining to complete strangers that i was capable, had a college degree, was old enough… the list goes on. passion and hustle goes a long way. when we finally opened our doors, i decided i no longer needed to explain or prove myself.
what have you learned about yourself during this process?
that there are a thousand reasons not to do something but if you can find a few really killer reasons to do it then it might just be worth it. it’s important to ask questions & it will always be no until you ask. taking breaks & creating moments for yourself are non-negotiable when your sanity is involved.
what’s your advice to women wanting to get into the service industry?
there is no manual or right way to open a business. JUST DO IT.
the service industry is not for the weak & is truly for only the people that love it. find your tribe. listen to the advice of others but stick to your vision. listen to your intuition, be fair but firm, be a leader for your team and surround yourself with others. hire good people because who you surround yourself with are a direct reflection of the vibe & energy you are creating. be sure you’re mirroring the best version of yourself.