Driven by his love of coffee, Jonathan found himself traveling along the California coastline in his early 20s in pursuit of perfecting his coffee-making skills. Starting off with a gig at Tierra Mia in Los Angeles, he was pivotal in the opening of this popular Latino café in the bay area upon expansion. Yearning for more experience and the opportunity to meet new people, he moved back down to Los Angeles, where he worked at The Refinery. Here, he became a well-known barista by everyday customers who were appreciative of his delicate attention to detail in preparing their morning cup. TLC is his secret ingredient. Something that Abdul, a regular at The Refinery took note of everyday when he ordered his hot mocha. He was so pleased with the amount of tender love and care that Jonathan exerted onto every cup, that he encouraged him to open his own coffee shop. “Don’t let your fears stop you from what you want to do,” advised Abdul. But with a shy and introverted personality, Jonathan found it difficult at first to engage with other people and learn more about the art of coffee-making.
By slowly overcoming his introverted character, he discovered that he was better at having individual conversations which enabled him to become comfortable in his own skin. This, combined with continuous and positive reinforcement from Abdul and other regulars, ignited a newfound sense of confidence that inspired him to start his own business. After months of searching for a business partner, a mutual friend introduced him to his current partner, Kateri. Together, they envisioned a shop that would bring specialty coffee and artistic spaces to a community that was deprived of such resources; their hometown, Lynwood.
Today, this explosive pop-up stand is known as Collective Avenue Coffee. For nearly a year now, this stand has been at the epicenter of Jonathan’s everyday happiness. He thrives in personalized conversations with all his customers as he handcrafts every order with fresh, homemade ingredients. While he finds himself working several jobs, often taking time away from friends and family, he believes it is worthwhile for a greater cause. His hope is to share his love of caffeine and engage in genuine conversations with all whom visit Collective Avenue and inspire them to believe that good things can happen to anyone, anywhere.