We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Barrancas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jose, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking has always been part of my spirit because I’m always looking for new opportunities to grow. Therefore, I consider risk taking my window to achievement. However, understanding the environment is key to making the right decision before taking the risk. In Mestizo’s case – the entire project was a risk. But in particular it was difficult for me develop something on my own, in a new city without anyone to help or guide me. I just had to take the leap.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The idea of Mestizo came from wanting to create a community. As an immigrant from Venezuela, I wanted to bring a piece of my culture to East Hollywood. Community merged with a tropical theme and flavors, remind me of home and I am honored to share that with my customers. I really got to experience the community we have created over the past three years, during the pandemic. Without our neighborhood friends, we might not have been able to stay open. Mestizo is a more than just a coffee shop to our community. It is the source of familiar faces, who know your name and are happy to serve you your favorite food item or beverage. I am proud of that. Recently we’ve partnered with local artists and featured their items in the shop… I am excited about further partnerships and expansion ideas we have “percolating” for the future. New ideas and creativity keep me inspired! There is no greater lesson then one that teaches you not to look back and but instead lift up your face and step forward. With Mestizo, I have had many losses but I have enjoyed each as lesson and have grown more successful from them.
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?
First I would take them to Manhattan Beach. I lived in El Segundo for a period of time and spent many of my days off at Manhattan Beach and loved every moment. I feel like when you think of Los Angeles or California, you think of the beach… palm trees… warm breezes…. sand… flip flops… I feel like Manhattan Beach encompasses all of that. Next stop would be the Getty Museum – the art is amazing, but the views and the garden are unlike anything most people have seen. We would then drive up the PCH to Neptune’s Net. There is nothing better then a beer and fried or steamed fish on the beach. And I love that the crowd is array of people… surfers, bikers, tourists… a little bit of everything.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My architect. Stan Klemanowicz. He became my friend during the build out of the shop and gave me words of wisdom during the hardest times as well as guidance on key aspects of making my a dream a reality. I continue to be grateful for his friendship and mentorship.