The retail combination of coffee and plants has come alive yet again in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles, this time with the backing of acclaimed British singer and philanthropist Leona Lewis.
Along with co-Founders Dennis Jauch and Achraf Sekhiri, Lewis recently opened the second location of Coffee and Plants, following the original Pasadena location that opened four years ago.
The shop pairs lush decorative greenery with a plant-based and seasonal menu.
“There was a lack of good plant-based alternatives when we started the brand a couple years ago,” Jauch recently told DCN. “We were kind of blown away by the lack of options for great drinks and pastries and other food items, especially in a city like L.A., at the forefront of veganism and plant-based food. There was a lack in the coffee world.”
Lewis, whose success in the televised music competition “The X Factor” kickstarted a successful career in music and entertainment, is married to Jauch, who said his background in the entertainment industry has informed the Coffee and Plants team’s approach to hospitality and the customer experience. Ultimately, the Coffee and Plants crew hopes to expand that approach to customers in even more shops.
“It’s been a natural growth over the last few years, which has led us to expand the brand on a city level for sure, and then eventually a state level,” Jauch said.
Coffee and Plants works with Los Angeles-based whoseale roasting and direct-to-consumer roasting outfit Unity Coffee for its variety of beans.
“When we initially were looking at different roasters, we wanted to team up with someone local, not as big and corporate,” Jauch said. “We met the guys from Unity Coffee, which are amazing. They also helped us initially train our staff. Our missions align really well. They’re very close to [the] farmers.”
Coffee and Plants offers house-made syrups, while each location now has a signature drink. In Studio City, the current signature beverage is a sea salt-infused maple latte, while the Rose Bowl latte remains a favorite in Pasadena. The menu also has a variety of plant-based pastries and sweet and savory tartines.
For the interior design of the new shop, the owners collaborated with the Amsterdam- and New York-based agency Rigos Mills, resulting in a European influence.
Said Jauch, “They were incredible to work with, drawing inspiration from the streets of Paris, how you sit in those little cafes on the side of the road, people watching.”
While plants remain a core component of the shop design, as well as a source of revenue through in-shop sales, they also are representative of Coffee and Plants’ philanthropic ambitions. For every 100 cups of coffee sold, the shop plants one tree through a partnership with the U.S. National Forest Foundation.
“When we started Coffee and Plants, it was clear to us that at the core of our business, we wanted to give back,” Jauch said. “That was always our core value, that we want to find places to give back to our community and our planet.”
The company also donates profits from certain in-store merchandise to the UK-based Hopefield Animal Sanctuary.