We had the good fortune of connecting with Yoni Babitsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yoni, how do you think about risk?
I believe that Risk is sort of a myth, because it kinda implies that there is a possibility of a negative outcome. But is there really? Yes, things might not happen exactly how you wanted, or not necessarily at the time that you wanted, what you originally envisioned might not happen at all, but I assure you of one thing, if you take a step, and that what Risk really is, a step forward, if you take that step, ‘Something’ is going to happen, it’s inevitable. You are setting it in motion, and it’s a road definitely worth taking, because whatever that ‘Something’ is it might really surprise you. Last time I was interviewed for VoyageLA I was in the process of building my second business, you might say it was a risky endeavor, you most certainly can say so, I was diving into a very unfamiliar territory, into a business I knew nothing about at the time and into a very competitive industry to say the least. I was in the process of creating Enigma Coffee, it was 4 years ago. I knew nothing about specialty coffee, I had no experience, but I had drive and you might say, was willing to take the risk. I didn’t really focus on the risk factor though, to be honest in didn’t even cross my mind that there is a chance I can fail. Not because, I was so arrogant, I just didn’t think in those terms. I dived into learning the 3rd wave coffee, I met a lot of people along the way who, probably seeing my thirst and enthusiasm were willing to help the dreamer, lol. 4 years later, Enigma Coffee established a name for itself, developed its own products that are distributed online, soon our production division will be distributing to the grocery stores in LA. You can check it out for yourself in our flagship store on Sunset blvd or online www.enigmacoffeeshop.com So Risk. One year into it, the sales were not where we wanted them, we were growing but the pressure was building. Did a thought cross my mind: forget it, what does the future hold? Yes it did, and not once but ultimately looking back it was also a blessing, because the sales were still not where we wanted them to be it forced us to focus on developing high quality unique products that will stand out from the competition, it s not just the initial step, that counts, you have to continue taking risks, or as I see it , to continue moving forward, new challenges will always come, and you will be able to adjust and grow with them “Risk” is not a one time thing, it’s a way of life, if you want to grow, every time you out grow your cocoon you have to break though, get out of the comfort zone as they say. Keep taking “risks”. So next time you have an inspiring idea that you are excited about- DO IT!
What should our readers know about your business?
Enigma coffee opened it doors to the public on February 1st 2017, and from day one there were two factors that drove the development of the brand: striving to provide the best coffee and tea drinks combined with a small selection of high quality food items and a very detailed attention to customer service. It was very important to me that each customer that walks in will not just enjoy the coffee but really have an experience, it might sound cliche but I had the same approach with the escape room business. I really started this new coffee venture to make people happy, more productive throughout the day, break thru fears of talking to other people ( the space is small so it’s easier for people to start conversations with strangers if they feel like it ) and hang out for a quick chat, we have plenty of outside sitting to accommodate that. One thing that really sets us apart from others is the fact that besides coffee that we roasts we also make all the syrups and concentrates in house – Salted Vanilla, Vanilla, Caramel, chocolate ,lavender and chai concentrate. Quality and unique experience is our motto.
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?
Ok, so food wise, definitely check out: L’Antica Pizzeria in Hollywood, Francesco the owner, is the sweetest and the food is amazing if you like Italian, for Mexican I love El Cayote on Beverly, I’m always in a good mood when I eat there, lol. Coffee… Its a shameless plug, but honestly, you have to try Enigma Coffee, I’m not gonna say anything, be your own judge. Ice-cream: Salt and Straw. Cocktails: Phoenix, hands down. If you are visiting LA, enjoy the outdoors! You’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. I take motorcycle rides on Mulholland highway on weekends, the views are breath taking, so if you are into riding, I definitely recommend.
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?
Oh gosh! So many people to thanks! The first conversation I had was with a friend of mine, who knows a thing or two about the food industry, his advice was invaluable. People at the first coffee company I worked with before roasting my own coffee, my fantastic employees who put their trust and effort into my vision, our wonderful clients, many became friends. I’m blessed and eternally grateful for the amazing people in my life who build me up every day.
Facebook: Enigma Coffee
Yelp: Enigma Coffee