We had the good fortune of connecting with Elisa Hoyos Leo Abularach and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elisa Hoyos, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
We feel most people are unaware of the many different facets of coffee and how important and crucial each step of the process is. Everything that happens at origin, from harvesting, picking, drying, to the roasting and preparation of a good cup of coffee, all affect the flavor. It’s also important to understand how the value that we give to each cup we serve affects everyone in the chain of production both positively and negatively. This is what makes coffee so fascinating. That’s why it’s important to continuously try to educate ourselves so that we are growing, learning and adapting to the needs of the coffee industry. This is what makes us passionate and excited about coffee. There’s always something to learn in this ever growing industry.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are the owners of a small coffee bar located in Boyle Heights called Picaresca Barra de Cafe. We are a specialty coffee shop serving a full espresso menu along with some specialty signature drinks. We also have delicious breakfast burritos made by our friend and chef Leo Antonio. What is unique about our shop, is that it is located inside of a mini mall complex in the working class neighborhood of Boyle Heights. We are sandwiched between a hair salon and mini mart. The vendors in our complex include, a florist, tailor, hairdresser, and furniture store. We live in Boyle Heights and are very excited to be serving coffee in our community.

We always dreamed of having our own shop one day but we never imagined it would happen this quickly. When the pandemic hit we found ourselves in a very precarious situation, I, Elisa, was out of work and the whole world, was in this state of uncertainty. The interesting thing, the silver lining in it all, was that it put us in this unique position of opportunity. Opportunity to save, focus, shift gears, and time to really flush out the concept of what we wanted our shop to be. It was many hours of deciding on a name, menu, our brand, and the type of business owners we wanted to be.

We’ve learned a lot throughout this process, as new business owners, there’s not really a handbook for the best way to run a coffee shop. A lot of it is taking the initiative to learn and not being afraid to ask questions. Also, sharing what you can with others, whether it be knowledge, advice, space, equipment. We believe strongly in helping others and collaborating with our friends.

One thing we want people to know about our brand is that it is a representation of our passion for Guanajuato, Mexico (Leo’s hometown) Our community of East Los Angeles (Elisa’s hometown) literature, the arts and coffee. Come stop by and say Hello!

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?
Los Angeles is such a great city with so many fun and exciting places to visit. East Los Angeles is the Mecca of food trucks and tacos. Some really great trucks to try are Los Dorados who specialize in taquitos that are out of this world, and El Ruso taco truck. There’s also so many good restaurants like Xtiosu Kitchen who specializes in Mexican Lebanese fusion or Otomisan Japanese Restaurant who have some of the best sushi in town and for sure the best customer experience. They make you feel welcome every single time you visit. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people, both family and friends, who’ve helped and supported us along the way. Our parents, Carmelo and Maria Reymundi who have supported and encouraged us throughout this entire process. Our good friends Marlon Gonzalez & Pilar Castaneda, the owners of Cafe Santo, who have been there from the start and have mentored, guided, collaborated, and openly shared their knowledge and love for the business of coffee. They are our family and we love them! Chef Leo Antonio, who is a good friend we have known for many years and who makes our delicious Chile Relleno, Chorizo Verde, Soyrizo, and Vegan Chile Relleno burritos and will be helping us expand our food menu. Yeekai Lim, owner of Cgnoscenti Coffee, has been very kind to us and always willing to give advice and recommendations when needed. Angel Orozco, owner of Cafecito Organico in Silverlake, has been a long time friend and Jefe (boss), who’s generosity has not gone unnoticed. These are just a few of the many who have contributed to our journey of entrepreneurship. You all have showered us with so much love and for this we are forever grateful.

Website: www.barrapicaresca.com

Instagram: @picaresca.cafe

Yelp: Picaresca Barra de Cafe

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.