Skid Row Coffee offers Community Space with a Cup of Coffee
Martin Feinberg, Realtor, knows that the Culver City Real Estate area is a great place to live for many reasons, but it is especially so because of the people and businesses that makes up the Culver City community. One such business is Skid Row Coffee.
Skid Row Coffee is a community pop-up coffee stand, in business for a little over a year, which travels around the area of downtown Los Angeles known as Skid Row.
Skid Row was designated by Los Angeles as the area east of Main Street, south of Third Street, west of Alameda Street, and north of Seventh Street. It encompasses roughly 50 city blocks. The total population of the district is over 17,000 but it is best known for it’s relatively stable population of homeless people, which typically number between 5,000 and 8,000. It is known as the largest population of homeless people in the United States.
Given their primary customer base, some might wonder why Skid Row Coffee would bother to peddle their product in such a place. But the company isn’t focused on their profit margins. Not only does Skid Row Coffee give away their coffee for free, or sell it on a sliding scale, they also offer a job-training program for low-income Los Angeles residents.
Co-founder Danny Park describes the roving company as “a community space disguised as a coffee shop,” and says that part of their mission is to serve the community and not displace it. Park, along with his friends Andrew Kang and Jayvon Burnett, are the ones that typically do the selling and they can often be found at the nonprofit Lamp Community Arts Program, L.A. Community Action Network, Skid Row History Museum, or in the neighborhood’s two parks—Gladys Park and San Julian Park. They also frequent the free movie screenings that are held the first and third Fridays of the month.
Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, was impressed to learn that the reason Skid Row Coffee is able to offer its product for free or at a reduced cost is because Culver City roaster Bar Nine donates the coffee beans to the company.
Though Skid Row is firmly rooted in community outreach, they also cater private events outside of the neighborhood to help increase their revenue. Park hopes to be able to open a brick-and-mortar store next year, “a place where there’s Wi-Fi, a place where there’s a restroom, a place where [people] can study, a place where they can have conversations with friends.”
“It’s for the community, by the community, that type of feel,” Park says. “It’s a safe space for our community.”