LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: The Boy & The Bear in Redondo Beach
Interview by Adrienne Lazovick (Adrienne's A-List)
Coffee Cups Up! The Boy & The Bear is a refreshing new coffee roastery in Redondo Beach and it’s been warmly welcomed by the South Bay community. Here’s my interview with the owner of this tasty hot spot and Columbia native, Andrés Piñeros:
Where did your passion for coffee begin, and how did you get to this point?
It was a combination of, first, loving coffee: I learned to really like coffee in Sweden…and I lived there for 4 years. That’s where I actually learned to appreciate coffee…good coffee. And I always had a passion to create a company with good branding and good service with a good product. So it was a kind of a mix of both passions, and eventually, The Boy & The Bear came out.
Why should someone choose The Boy & The Bear over chains like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean? What makes your coffee different?
If I compare McDonalds for their burgers with a very nice, high end restaurant that makes burgers – everything is organic, everything is made inside…nice bread, nice cheese… It’s like comparing a $1 product to a $4 product. It’s definitely quality and it’s definitely the fact that we pay more money to the coffee grower and it’s all getting traded. So yea, it’s basically the quality.
Who has been the most influential person to you in following your passion?
I don’t know if this sounds cheesy or lame to say but it’s actually my family, my father and my mom. Since we were kids, we’ve been listening to and seeing our parents create companies and create new businesses. So we kinda had that in the blood since we grew up. Actually, I’ve been working with them in their companies since 16 years old and I’ve been learning everything from my father, like how to be an entrepreneur. And yea, I think it is a family thing.
Can you explain the significance/origin of your company name and logo?
Well The Boy and The Bear is a story of a Swedish lullaby: There’s this farmer boy who gets lost in a forest by picking up berries. He then runs into this brown bear, this very, angry brown bear. But they actually end up becoming friends because this little boy has berries in his basket. We kind of tweaked the concept of it and we say they are “coffee” cherries. So the farmer boy and the brown bear, they become friends over the coffee cherries. And now they are on the trail looking for more coffee together and they become better friends. So, the concept is regardless of their race, culture, or beliefs, whatever differences they have [one of them is a human boy, the other is a bear], they still became friends over coffee.
What do you love most about your customers here and what do you love most about the South Bay in general?
Something that surprised me a lot from the very beginning is the strong support on small businesses. People really, really appreciate small businesses coming up…they really love their own town, especially in Redondo Beach. Like they’ll say, “we really need these kinds of businesses in Redondo Beach and we love it and we’re gonna support it”. So I was actually very surprised about that, how people treat us and welcome us into their Redondo Beach neighborhood, and that’s probably what I like the most. Even though we’re in LA, it’s still a very genuine town… like a small town. You can feel the warmth of the neighborhood in comparison to places like Santa Monica that have become very touristy and very impersonal. So this just feels like a very personal, “warm” place to be. It’s definitely a no-brainer to be here.
For anyone in the South Bay who has yet to try your coffee, what can you tell them about The Boy & The Bear to get them through the doors?
Well if people are serious about coffee quality, they love drinking coffee, and are looking to change the game of the coffee they make at home, I think this is the place to come. This may sound a bit cliché but we believe that once you try really good coffee like this from the bag, you can never go back to the national brands…you’re not going to be able to drink that again
Do you in any way see coffee today as a trend and if so, how do you become successful enough to not become a passing fad?
I think the way to do it, well, coffee has been around forever, for hundreds of years. It’s the way you present it, of course…. it’s the concept of it…it’s the quality…and it’s the service. Like the same as restaurants, let’s say fast food or Asian restaurants, whatever cuisine it is, they’ve always been around. It’s just how you present it and how you treat the customer and the quality of the product. So we work very, very hard to fulfill those three pillars in our company so I believe we’re only heading to expanding and getting stronger…that being said very humbly.
Andrés encourages everyone to come visit and try their product. The staff will gladly answer any technical questions about how the coffee is made because as he says, “It’s half and half: half Science, half art.” Congratulations, Andrés, and welcome to the South Bay!
The Boy & The Bear
350 N Pacific Coast Highway
Redondo Beach, CA 90277