I recently made my way down to Long Beach to visit Mr. Alan Gomez in his new-ish coffee shop, Commodity Coffee.
I initially met Alan about five or six years ago. My wife was getting her masters at Cal State Long Beach. She didn't drive at the time, so I would take her to campus when I wasn’t working. Seeing as I was rarely down in LB, I would use that time to check out the beach or look for coffee shops. That's when I first came across Alan during his time at Lord Windsor Coffee.
You may also recognize him from his previous appearance on this site when he was working as a barista at Good Coffee in Portland, Oregon.
I'm beyond happy to see that he's now the proud owner of his own shop. It's freakin' well deserved.
Q&A time folks
Q: When did your shop open
A: April 10, 2017 but I was doing a popup inside North Menswear in Laguna Beach for about a year before I secured a cafe space.
Q: How long have you been in coffee
A: It's been like a decade. I got my start at Starbucks, I hated my retail job at the time so my friend hooked me up with a barista job. I also hated coffee at the time. I tried drinking it but always with a lot of cream & sugar. I did, however, really dig the culture surrounding coffee. It was always really intriguing. After I got fired from Starbucks, I thought there was probably really good coffee out there and I was missing out. So, I sought out better coffee.
Q: Favorite thing about owning your own coffee shop
A: Not paying myself and making my life more difficult. But really, I really dig the community surrounding me and feel like I've seen a lot of cafes overlook that aspect of small business ownership. I love Long Beach and I really wanted to invest in this area. And the community has really supported me.. So far as the business association in the neighborhood, to which I've now become a member of the board of directors for the neighborhood. It's not a huge or powerful title, but it helps me & my community really be there for each other. And that's something that is meaningful to me. I don't think I'll leave Long Beach in the foreseeable future.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not making coffee
A: All I really do is nerd out with my car & bike friends. We host a couple car meets at Commodity, so I end up attracting a lot of likeminded people, and we end up becoming friends and we'll just talk about all this nerdy car stuff. And when I'm not doing that, I'm usually napping with my dog.. Let's be real, that's the true life of a small business owner.
Q: Speaking of ‘nerdy car stuff’ and seeing as it’s a recurring theme on both your personal and business IG account, what motorcycle do you currently ride
A: 2007 Triumph Bonneville. I've probably had it for just about 6 years now. My bike before this one was a 1982 Yamaha XJ750
I really dig the community surrounding me
and feel like I've seen a lot of cafes overlook that aspect of small business ownership.