CPZ Issue 11 / CutE CoffeE Extended Feature
Athena Taylor, Breck Omar Brunson, Selena Carrea, Themba, Michael Daniels,
SabreeN NaimaH WilkeS, Amatus Sami-Karim, and BiankA AlloyN BrunsoN in the front.
Athena was a customer of Bianka’s at Menotti’s, Breck my brother, Selena an old friend from Philly who met up with Bianka at Menotti's, Themba who Bianka knew from a another friend she had met in Philly when she ran the art openings and music shows at the first cafe in Fishtown called the Rocketcat Cafe, Michael Daniels who was a barista Bianka worked with at Menotti’s, SabreeN was a Menotti’s customer, and Amatus was an old friend from Philly who Bianka met at a cafe in Mount Airy Philadelphia called the High Point Cafe.
Coffee brought them all together!
Michael Daniels,BiankA AlloyN BrunsoN and Vanessa Rud
Christopher Nicely Abel Alameda
Vanessa Rud and Bianka met up for coffee when Bianka first moved to LA. They decided to meet at Menotti’s because Bianka told her about a new place by the beach. It was their first of many times going there, but they didn’t actually go in because they thought it looked too fancy. Funny right!? So, they ended up going somewhere else with mediocre coffee. At the time Bianka’s living arrangement/nanny gig with Chaka Khan and her family was coming to a close and she needed another gig. Since she had experience in coffee and the urge to return, she printed up some resumes and made a trip back over to Menotti’s about a week later.
Bianka walked in, asked for a cappuccino, introduced myself to the barista, chatted it up with them and then said, “Yo, y’all need any helping hands around here?” Mario replied with a “yes,” and said, “Let me get the manager for you.” As she stood there at the counter sipping on her 5 oz cappuccino her eyes lit up and jaw dropped to the floor when she saw a young man of color coming from the back room. This young man was named Christopher Nicely Abel Alameda. Due to unfavorable experiences Bianka purposely kept herself outside of coffee industry knowings and happenings for years. So, she had no idea that she had walked in and inquired about a gig at the coffee place on Venice Beach where the 3 time world champion latte artist was the manager. And he’s of color!? Stop it! Needless to say, she seemed to have found the right place.
Menotti’s very quickly turned into Biank’s hub for community and meeting all kinds of creative individuals. It also became the place where she launched her plant arrangement company Nicely coined “BiankA’s Blooms.”
One day Biank’s friend, Novena, who was a key component in the idea of Menotti’s becoming a café, invited her friend SabreeN to the shop. Novena introduced Bianka to SabreeN from afar. Bianka just happened to be pulling shots that day and recommended a drink for her to try. They became immediate best friends.
We’re gonna press fast forward here and show off the beauty that is now CutE CoffeE. These two have overcome every obstacle imaginable and deserve to share the joy you see on their faces!