We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Leo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christian, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Hi my name is Christian Leo, owner of Local Coffee Bar in Chino hills, CA. Local Coffee is a love child of many things that I am passionate about. Growing up in Indonesia, I had always been around coffee, but never really appreciated specialty coffee until I moved to the US for my studies. Coffee shops here then became a second home and I fell in love with the cafe culture and the coffee community as a whole. I find coffee to be a playful art and yet such a serious craft. Fast forward to a couple years ago, me and my wife were looking for a creative outlet and a side project to support our growing family. (I was and still currently am a full time pastor in Chino Hills, CA who loves getting to know the people in my neighborhood and creating a sense of community). We wanted to have a creative space that people could rally around. The idea was to start with a portable coffee bar that will cater parties and events.. In the process of building out, our long time friends at Take Ur Seat pitched a last minute idea about parking the bar inside of their new brunch spot. We took on the challenge, and the rest is history. Surprisingly, our business concepts are a match in heaven — you can’t have great brunch without great coffee, and vice versa! It’s been so crazy to see how our community rallied around to support us even through this pandemic. We are so blessed, and we are committed to continue serving the good locals in our city!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The name LOCAL means being proud of where one is from. We love the Inland empire (check out our logo), and felt that it has a slowly growing coffee scene, and we wanted to showcase what the IE has to offer — supporting local roasters, using local products and highlighting local creatives. We don’t believe in competing but collaborating. We rep other local coffee shops and encourage our customers to support them. This is what we exist for, to add value and champion others. Other than the classic espresso menu, I also wanted to bring a lot of southeast Asian influences into our drinks. Flavors that I grew up with that turned into our specialty drinks such as: Pandan + Palm sugar latte, Cookie butter latte, Milo Dinosaur, or Matcha Sua Da. We are proud of our in house crafted syrups.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, Jesus! for his great love and faithfulness in our life. Our parents, family and close friends who supported us along the way. Special thanks to our Take Ur Seat fam for the amazing partnership. Stevie and the crew at Arcade Coffee Roaster for having bomb coffee and helping us start from day one. Jordan at Touch Gold for starting us on our marketing and social media journey. Our amazing baristas who make LOCAL what it is today. Chino hills for your continual love. The coffee community for being so supportive. We can’t do this without any of you!
Facebook: Local Coffee
Yelp: Local Coffee Bar
Esther Kim Jordan Gibson Hadrian Panaroma