We had the good fortune of connecting with Denise Maldonado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Denise, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“Just keep going”
It means the absolute world to me. Every night before I go to bed, I see it on my wall. Every morning when I wake up, I see it on my wall.
Ten years ago, I lost my older brother. Losing him meant losing my whole world and it felt like the foundation I was building on was destroyed.
He would always tell me that no matter what happened, to always, “keep going.”
Owning and operating a small business is literally the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. Day in and day out I have my moments where I want to just stop and give up. It’s hard to do this every day and wear so many hats. I can appreciate that when I hit my lowest points, all I think about is him and what he said to me. My goal is to succeed and keep making him proud. Those three words have such a huge impact on me, what I’ve done and who I’m becoming.
Burning out and wanting to give up is not something many people talk about. However, I can guarantee you that it is something that is on my mind every day. It’s hard. But we’re here, doing it. I promise you we will always keep going.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Confidential Coffee is a specialty coffee and tea shop located in Downtown Long Beach. We’ve been serving our community since September of 2018. Our goal is to create a space where our community can feel safe, where I can share my culture, and where we can create an experience for everyone who visits us. I started working in coffee in October of 2011. The more I learned about coffee, the more passionate I became. I love every aspect of the process.
Opening the shop was extremely difficult. Finding the perfect space alone was such a tedious task. I constantly preach about how it takes a village to succeed and I will forever be thankful for mine. They are the reason why I am where I am. No matter how hard the situation got, I knew I had to keep going and I have always had a tremendous amount of support.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that if it was easy, everyone would do it. I constantly sit and wonder what it would be like to just walk away. I wear so many hats all the time and it gets exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I’ve never been happier. But I am tired and I constantly wonder if I’m doing the right thing.
I want the world to know that I am here to bring people together. I want to continue creating a space where people from different backgrounds can coexist and grow together.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Long Beach is amazing! I’d start each day with taking them to grab coffee. Of course we’d go to Confidential Coffee, but I’d also take them to Sala, Rose Park, Recreational, and so many more. We’d most likely end up doing a coffee crawl.
For lunch, I’d definitely do Thunderbolt for some pizza, The 4th Horeseman, El Sauz, or Congregation.
I love a good beer so I’d make sure to stop by Trademark and Ambitious Ales. Both are amazing at what they do.
One of my favorite things to do is to rent a duffy boat and explore Alamitos Bay. It’s so much fun to just hang out with friends and share a great time. Followed by a visit to Ballast Point to enjoy their outdoor patio.
If we had more time to explore, I’d start one of our days with a walk on the beach and end at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
For nightlife, I’d say anywhere on Pine Ave or on 2nd st in Belmont Shore. Both streets are lined with great restaurants, bars, and clubs. It’s always the best to end the night dancing.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely my family. Not only does this include my biological family, but also my friends and my employees. It takes a village and I wouldn’t be here without mine. I will spend the rest of my life reminding them of how thankful I am to have them in my life.