Early last year Roy Choi started making noise about a project he and Daniel Patterson were cooking up: LocoL, a chef-driven attempt at revolutionary real fast food aimed at building jobs and opportunities in underserved communities. I backed the Indiegogo campaign and watched with interest. The food movement is often long on lofty ideas but short on execution. Suddenly, here are a couple of guys with the pedigree, passion, and pragmatism to take a real shot. Plenty of ink has already been spilled armchair quarterbacking the venture and it’s challenges. To some, the concept of LocoL feels inevitable — Finally, someone is doing it! To others it seems impossible or idealistic — a Rorschach test for reflexive cynicism.
Count me among the believers.
I’ve rapped with Roy in the past about the L.A. coffee scene, what we like and don’t like about the prevailing trends, and we arrive at pretty similar critiques. So when Roy and Daniel reached out and asked how LocoL (which aims to have a killer breakfast menu) might do coffee, I was happy to weigh in.
Their question was “can we do a $1 cup of coffee and make it really good?”
We tossed around a few scenarios, strategies, and potential partnerships, but in the end landed on doing the roasting operation in-house. When they asked if I would come along for the ride to make it happen… well, I’m apparently too crazy to say no to a good challenge — particularly when I get to bring in the skills of my good friend and Tonx Coffee alum, the incomparable Sumi Ali. After months of scheming we’re closing in on the January 18th opening date for LocoL Watts when our small contribution to what’s shaping up to be a fantastic menu makes its debut.
If you’re a coffee geek, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. And maybe at some point, we’ll share some of our answers. Right now, it’s both a work-in-progress and a labor of love. I’m really proud to be working with such a great and rapidly growing crew and I look forward to seeing many of you in Watts!