We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Punche’ and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, how do you think about risk?
I’d be lying if I said, I didn’t take risks. I’ve always been one to run to the fire, and some might say, you’ll get burned. But I don’t see it that way. I see risks as a challenge, I started my business by taking a risk. Yup, going against the grain and starting my own coffee business was definitely risky. I was originally very hesitant to share the reason why I started my business. I felt that people wouldn’t understand or support me. But I quickly realized, I had to walk in my truth and be authentic to who I am, and so what if some people wouldn’t support me. Maybe they’d encounter me and change their minds. I also think you’ve got to believe in yourself if you’re taking any kind of risk. At a time when most people are thinking about retirement and never working again, I decided to retire and embark on my new life and career. Talk about taking a risk. Standing up is risky. But if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a small female owned business located in the city of Los Angeles. I have a coffee truck, L.A. Grind Coffee & Tea Bar-Your Coffeehouse on Wheels. What sets us apart is the fact that we can go anywhere, since we’re mobile. I am most proud and excited about the products that I’ve created or that we sell on our website. From our coffee sourced from Cameroon, Africa, to our curated iced teas, and our proprietary blend of hot chocolate…OMG!! Soooo good! I’d like to say that watching my mother run her own businesses when I was growing up and my corporate career had a hand in where I am today professionally. At the end of my professional career, I was a Customer Service Manager and I enjoyed talking to and helping people. Until the most recent event of the pandemic, I’d like to say things were pretty easy. My belief in God and myself are really helping me to overcome this current challenge. What I want the world to know is that if you put your mind to something, you can do it! No matter how challenging, you’re worth the risk! If I can inspire someone to be what that want to be, or do what they want to do, then I’ve succeeded. I also want the world to know that although my brand was created due to the unfortunate incident at Starbucks in 2018 where two African American men were arrested while waiting on a colleague, we welcome a space for all. We thrive to be intentional, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, a superior customer experience and unmatched quality drinks!
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?
Well, I’d definitely take her to my truck for the best coffee in L.A. From there we’d head over to Watts Coffeehouse in Watts, Ca for some wonderful breakfast, then head over to the Watts Towers for some Watts history. We’d then take a trip up to the Hollywood sign and Hollywood Blvd. Then we’d head down to Post & Bean in the Baldwin Hills area for dinner and drinks. There are so many wonderful eateries and bars in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. I’d definitely like to take her to Disneyland, Skies Tacos and Comfort LA.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My FAMILY! They’ve been extremely supportive through my entire journey. They’ve done everything from high five me when I retired, to driving the coffee truck, assisting on the truck, helping with shipping of coffee, shopping for products, ordering products, product research, and everything in between. They are truly my support system. I also have a very loyal group of followers and supporters who purchase my products and share kind words of support.