Punk rock cafe Rad Coffee is set to open at Bixby Knolls • the Hi-lo
The punk-rock-themed, horror-inspired cafe has been around since 2015 and has been an online sensation since 2016, but later this month the originally husband and wife duo will bring the channel to Bixby Knolls, taking control of the Atlantic Avenue showcase which once housed Derricks on Atlantic.
The new location — their third in addition to Upland and Covina — was a no-brainer for Rad Coffee and its unique style that fits so well with the city, co-owner Jade Valore said.
“Long Beach has so much culture and art,” she said.
The shop will feature a similar vibe to Rad’s other locations: lots of horror movie posters, concert flyer memorabilia, and skateboard decks on the wall. Jade said this place would feel more retro thanks to the checkerboard floor and neon green walls. It will also feature a gaming area dubbed “the horrorcade,” a collection of horror-themed pinball machines that is a popular feature in the Covina store.
And then there is the coffee. Bright, smooth and powerfully caffeinated. “The Great White,” for example, is a four-shot espresso concoction with cold brew concentrate, white mocha, and organic almond and caramel sauces. Customers can also choose to pour this drink over ice and top it with “Bones Brew,” which adds two more shots of espresso and more cold brew concentrate with vanilla and cream.
For purists, Rad Coffee offers staples like pure espresso, americano, cappuccino, and lattes. It also offers jugs and drip coffees, the beans of which are all roasted at the couple’s facility in Upland. Rusty, Jade’s husband, runs this department.
The couple came up with the idea for Rad Coffee in 2014 after Jade learned she was pregnant with their first daughter. At the time, Rusty was working two jobs, one of them at Starbucks where the couple first met and fell in love in their early twenties, while Jade, now 31, was full-time film student.
The couple wanted a way to spend more time together, raise their daughter and do what they love, Jade said. “So, I thought of a concept. We could start a coffee truck.
This plan was too expensive, so they opted for a pop-up that would stand out from the landscape of corporate coffee shops like Starbucks and Coffee Bean that dominated Upland at the time.
Drawing inspiration from their own personalities, they came up with the name “Rad”, an adjective that was ubiquitous in Rusty’s beloved skate culture.
“He used to say the word all the time, and now when I tell people he looks at me sideways, oh, she does it again,” Jade shared. “Now he literally never says it. I ruined it for him.
But where Jade thinks she’s struck marketing gold is with her idea to create an eye-catching skull logo. A horror fanatic who dreamed of directing movies herself, the morbid theme suited Jade perfectly, but it was unheard of in the coffee world.
“Nobody had a skeleton logo. Nobody did. It was a really big deal for us,” Jade said. “In 2015 when we developed all of this, our daughter was literally two weeks old. have to blame the hormones for all the creativity that ran through my veins.
With a vision in place and a $6,000 espresso machine that Jade’s grandfather gave them, the couple set out to try and get their name out there. They were handing out free cold brew at skateboarding events and Jade spent hours on social media. Today, their Instagram following has 117,000 followers.
Eventually, they landed a permanent pop-up location at a juice bar in Upland that would later become their first physical store.
“The owner gave us the place,” Jade said. “We had enough money to decorate the interior. We still have the same espresso machine and we already had a clientele, which was really cool. Then we opened the actual store in September 2015.”
But it’s Rad Coffee’s creative take on mixed drinks that arguably propelled the independent coffeehouse to its peak of popularity. In 2016, Rad Coffee caught the attention of Business Insider for its unique and colorful mixed drinks.
The video posted by Business Insider was short, just 51 seconds, but it catapulted the company into the spotlight.
“It got over 20 million views and the rest was history,” Jade recalled. “I mean, we had queues on the street. This was a pivotal point in Rad Coffee.
In 2018, the couple started their Upland roastery, a necessary move due to high demand, and last year they opened their location in downtown Covina. They were also able to finally get their initial idea for a coffee truck into action, which travels to various Southern California towns, including Lakewood and Whittier, where the couple were able to test demand in the Long Beach area before moving on. engage in the Bixby Knolls store. .
Last year, Jade was on the Forbes 30 under 30 2021 list for Rad Coffee. The company, Jade said, earned nearly $5 million in 2020.
“I always wanted people to know that we didn’t come for the money, nobody gave us a ticket, we worked hard,” Jade said. “It’s really important (to us) that people know that there are two young people making a difference in the world of coffee.”
Rad Coffee at Bixby Knolls will open Wednesday, April 27 for limited hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until May 8, when hours of operation will be 6 a.m. to midnight daily.
Rad Coffee is at 3502 Atlantic Ave.
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