Picture by Matthew Bowler
It took Marlyn Gonzalez over three years to line all the things up for her enterprise.
She had discovered the proper spot off of El Cajon Boulevard, between Metropolis Heights and Talmadge. She had gotten the permits, the loans, skilled and employed her workers and lined up a roaster. She had lastly settled on a reputation — GEM Coffee.
All she wanted to do was open — which was scheduled for late March. After which the pandemic hit.
“It was, oh my goodness, it was very complicated instances to say the least,” she instructed KPBS.
Gonzalez determined to go forward with opening in any case.
“Whereas we have been making an attempt to push our open, a variety of companies round us have been closing in order that felt unhealthy in a method,” Gonzalez mentioned. “However then I stored pondering of how laborious we labored, and we had our workforce on board. We have been prepared.”
Gone was the seating part, the furnishings stowed away within the again.
She felt she owed it to her neighbors and her two baristas to open up.
“We have been capable of do each service and keep the security of the general public,” she mentioned.
Marlyn was fortunate — as a espresso store, the transition to take out was straightforward.
Her objective is to serve high quality espresso at cheap costs and act as a bridge between the working-class Metropolis Heights neighborhood, and the gentrified Talmadge neighborhood.
“I see ourselves changing into that anchor to each communities. And hopefully merging these communities, whether or not there’s actions we are able to host which can be extra frequent in a single group than the opposite. And having two communities be a part of one,” she mentioned.
Enterprise has been regular, she says, that includes a mixture of folks searching for espresso and flowers to brighten up the properties they’re now confined to.
She has no regrets opening up, whereas it looks like the remainder of the world is shutting down.
“Full pace forward,” she mentioned, laughing.
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