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Coffee & Community Interview Series

Explore the inspiring journey of Vanessa Alvarez, owner of Catalina’s Coffee & Cocktails, as she shares insights on building community, balancing profit with purpose, and overcoming challenges in the coffee industry. Join us for more interviews with coffee entrepreneurs nationwide.

Introducing "Coffee & Community": An Interview Series by the founders of joe


Welcome to "Coffee & Community," the interview series where we explore the vibrant world of coffee through the eyes of those who make it happen. In this series, the founders of joe interview coffee shop owners and roasters from around the U.S. to share their stories, lessons learned, and tips with peers.

In our very first interview, we are thrilled to feature Vanessa Alvarez, the owner of Catalina’s Coffee & Cocktails in Sunnyside, Washington. Vanessa’s journey from the corporate world to owning a coffee shop is nothing short of inspiring. With a background that includes roles at the University of Washington and Redfin, Vanessa has always been passionate about creating inclusive environments. This value is a cornerstone of her business philosophy at Catalina’s Coffee & Cocktails.



Highlight: Vanessa's Ah-Ha moment that catapulted her forward in her dream to opening a coffee shop

During the interview, Vanessa opens up about the challenges she faced transitioning from a structured corporate environment to the dynamic world of coffee entrepreneurship. She shares valuable insights on integrating personal values into business practices and the importance of fostering inclusivity in the workplace. Vanessa also continues to consult and run workshops for organizations like the City of Seattle to help create more inclusive work environments.

Here are a few key takeaways from our conversation with Vanessa:

  • The Power of Community: Vanessa emphasizes the significance of building a community within and around your coffee shop. This sense of belonging not only attracts customers but also creates a supportive network for business growth.
  • Balancing Profit and Purpose: She discusses the delicate balance of maintaining profitability while staying true to your core values. For Vanessa, creating a welcoming and inclusive space is just as important as the bottom line.
  • Learning from Challenges: Transitioning from a corporate job to owning a coffee shop came with its own set of challenges. Vanessa shares how she navigated these obstacles and what she learned along the way.

Join us as we delve into Vanessa's inspiring story and gain valuable insights into running a purpose-driven coffee business. Whether you're a seasoned coffee shop owner or just starting out, there's something for everyone in this interview.

Stay tuned for more interviews where we bring you the stories and wisdom of coffee entrepreneurs from across the nation. Together, let's brew change and build a stronger coffee community.


Interested in being featured? Email success@joe.coffee and let's get your story highlighted or send us a note on instagram @joecoffeeapp 

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