We had the good fortune of connecting with Andreea Moyes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andreea, what do you attribute your success to?
Our vision for Surf Cafea was always about exceptional product and customer service. We have worked hard and diligently on all aspects of our business to achieve this goal: the product and service is easy going, informal but comfortable and welcoming and we work incredibly hard to select, roast and brew the best coffees. We put a lot of attention into every detail – the house made syrups that complement the coffee flavors, the simple, home tasting bakery items, carefully chosen teas… everything we bring into our brand is carefully chosen to meet our brand goals. Our team members get the brand and bring their contribution to make guests feel welcome, delighted with their experience.
What should our readers know about your business?
Both Kelly and Andreea, the entrepreneurs behind Surf Cafea have spent their careers in corporate jobs. We decided to open Surf Cafea to give ourselves a chance to channel our creative side and to apply everything we know about business in our own company. We were very ambitious to open our first coffee shop in a location that didn’t have restaurant permits (against the advice of friends) but we knew instinctively that the kind of customers we wanted to have in our store were the cyclists and surfers who travel on PCH and when we saw the location we thought we could handle it… it took us exactly a year to open it from the time we signed the contract until we serviced the first customer. It was very difficult to get all the permits and finish the construction in this older part of Sunset Beach where utilities are old and outdated and even tracking down the main water pipe required drilling multiple holes to find it. We had many sleepless nights worrying if we could open. The first year was also difficult, like with many businesses, cash in the first year is very tight and we were not sure if we could survive that critical first year. I’m very happy to say we did. What is different today is that we have a team working for success and many friends and supporters. We have an entire community around us, uplifting us and giving us energy and inspiration to do what we do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Huntington Beach is a beach town with a ton of personality; people love to be outdoors doing their favorite sports, cycling, surfing, volley. Sunset Beach is old fashioned and quaint, you’ll find a number of old fashioned diners and restaurants, don’t miss Surf Taco on Saturday nights when they have live band playing classic rock; you can have your tacos and margaritas and enjoy a fantastic date night. For a more upscale experience, you could head down to Pacific City, you can enjoy a leisurely walk around the outdoor mall and pick from several dining options. I like to finish the evening at Tanner’s at Pasea where they have delicious cocktails and a killer view of the ocean. The local hotels have day pass deals for their pools for locals and it’s a fantastic way to spend a staycation and enjoy being a tourist in your own town. Main street is also a lot of fun, especially on Tuesdays city nights when you can enjoy the street fair and local food. Kids love Main street especially at Halloween because all the stores give candy. Huntington Beach downtown beach is the heart of the action, especially when we have sports competitions in the summer; it’s amazing to see the volleyball players and the surfers practice their sport. One of my favorite times in downtown HB is Sunday nights when we have the drum circle and everyone joins in the exciting rhythms. Of course, besides Huntington Beach, it’s really easy to venture out to other neighbor beach cities – a walk on Balboa island at Christmas time is a feast for the eyes with all the beautiful decorations; you can enjoy an old fashioned games arcade on the island, take the ferry and buy yourself a chocolate covered frozen banana. I also recommend the Christmas parade in Naples or Sunset Beach. If you’re looking for walks and hikes, the Crystal Cove area has amazing trails. And you can spend a whole fun day in Laguna Beach, visiting art galleries, enjoying the tide pool marine life and sipping a glass of wine in one of the many restaurants with a view of the ocean.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many people who stand behind our success: our colleagues and mentors from Boot Coffee who taught us how to pick coffee and how to get the best out of every bean, business mentors from the community, like Dr. Yasmin from Fermentation Farm who gave us valuable tips about how to choose a location, where to find affordable equipment and how to set up the business to give it the best chance for survival, Tim Shenkin, our young partner and coffee roaster who believes that being a good neighbor is what we most need in our coffee shop, our team of talented baristas, our collaborator baker, Christina who is behind many of the yummy rustic pastries we bake every day, our business partners who deliver supplies, ingredients and products and most of all our regular customers, it would not be possible to exist without them.