Published on Oct. 18, 2013
The popular local coffee shop and eatery’s newest site is at 2912 De la Vina St., which was converted from a Taco Bell restaurant.
“That’s been the joke of the day,” giggled co-owner Yolanda Gonzalez, referring to the wisecrackers who showed up wanting coffee and a couple of tacos to go.
In addition to a wide range of coffee and espresso drinks, the Daily Grind serves up muffins, sandwiches, soups, smoothies and salads.
“We had a soft opening this week,” said Ms. Gonzalez, who runs the business with her brother Louis Cubilla. “We’re hoping to have a grand opening in a couple of weeks. Something fun.”
The siblings acquired the space two years ago and went slow in remodeling the interior and exterior spaces.
“We had Daily Grind No. 1 to run,” said the busy businesswoman, referring to the original coffee house that they opened 18 years ago at the corner of Mission and De la Vina streets.
Construction on the second Daily Grind began in earnest about six months ago.
“It was organized chaos, but the payoff is worth it,” said Ms. Gonzalez, sweeping an arm over her warm and cozy domain, which has lots of light streaming in.
“We had to gut the whole thing and start from scratch to fulfill our vision,” said Ms. Gonzalez, referring to the 1,300-square-foot business, which comes with a patio and 34 off-street parking spaces.
She declined to say how much money was spent to open the second site.
“Let’s just say we did as much as possible to keep costs to a minimum,” said Ms. Gonzalez, referring to the work that her husband, Jesus, and brother tackled.
“Louis made all the cabinets in there and some of the tables,” divulged his proud sister. “Most everything you see is custom-made.”
The volume of customers and lines out the door at the original store made them realize the time was right for expansion, said Ms. Gonzalez. The original location is famous as a place to get some coffee, grab a seat and linger with a good book or laptop.
“These big coffee chains have a store on nearly every corner, so why not give it a go a few miles away?” Ms. Gonzalez said.
While competitor Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has a store just a few blocks down the street, Ms. Gonzalez believes there is room for everybody and said the new Daily Grind should do also well with the surrounding businesses.
Indeed, Trader Joe’s and Ralphs employees had made coffee runs earlier in the morning on opening day.
The business owners have also brought in some fresh faces to the Grind.
Ten new employees were hired as counter help, baristas, cooks, dishwashers and bussers. They expect to hire another four or five employees.
Some employees have been with the Daily Grind for years. “Several have gotten master’s degrees and come back to pick up a day or two for the social aspect,” said Ms. Gonzalez.
Loyal customers Claudia Lash and Pat Lupo, who live in the San Roque neighborhood, showed up on opening day. The longtime friends had just finished a volunteer shift delivering Meals on Wheels and were tucking into their generous looking salads.
“This is delicious,” said Mrs. Lash with a smack of her lips.
“I think this is going to be our new hangout,” smiled Mrs. Lupo, adding that she was happy to get a table. “The other store is always pretty packed and for a good reason: great lattes and espressos.”
After the excitement of opening the doors of her new establishment, Ms. Gonzalez announced she was kicking back with an iced soy chai, her drink of choice, and waiting for the next rush to begin.