Shop Small Market Spotlight: Coffee Colab

Airbnb hosted small businesses from around LA at our American Express Shop Small Market on November 19. We are proud to spotlight some of the merchants who were there. Check out Airbnb Open Spotlight.

Down a one-way alley off Santee Street in the fashion district of downtown LA, lies one of the coolest new spots in the city: Coffee Colab, a collaboration and “laboratory” experiment between two industry vets.

Coffee Colab — a name derived from “collaboration” and “coffee laboratory” — is a fresh take on the tried-and-true coffee shop formula that began about two and half years ago by Suits & Knives coffee bean connoisseur Will Miyazaki and Leon Li, a latte artist.

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“Will had been in the coffee industry for awhile and just wanted his own place with a unique touch,” says colleague Steven Matthews.

Steven exclaims that the shop is “humbled” to be a part of The Airbnb Open Shop Small Market, curated by American Express, and appreciates being recommended by Airbnb hosts. “It really means a lot,” he says. “It shows that we’re not just appealing to locals, but to guests from all over the world who come in from a reference. It’s a real honor.”

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Stitched between the flower and fashion districts of DTLA, the area is home to a wide spectrum of cultures and classes, and the shop embraces that diversity.

“It’s a thriving neighborhood, so we didn’t want to come in and be boisterous or disrupt anything,” says Steven. “We wanted to keep the vibe as homey as possible. And it was very important for us to contribute to the local heartbeat of the community, not come in and change it.”

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It was very important for us to contribute to the local heartbeat of the community

The shop has a cozy, creative and crafted-with-love feel, and enjoys a steady stream of regulars. “We get a good stream of neighborhood folks, and all types of creative people around us from textiles, fashion designers and architects, we get all kinds of people,” says Steven.

Coffee Colab is here to stay, and is proud to be one of the first local businesses down the alley. “We think it gives people a bit of pride on this corner, to know we’re a part of this community and want to see it succeed,” says Steven, “And we really respect the business of our return customers who make this all possible.”