We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Choi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Justin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The vision for Hanok Coffee began with the simple concept of serving exceptional coffee in an environment that feels like home. Our thought process behind starting our own business stemmed from observing and experiencing the meaningful interactions during our coffee shop visits, which was an influence in our desire to create our own space. As business owners, we are able to curate and establish what we believe will be successful and we get the opportunity to set the standard for what we want to stand for. As our name “Hanok” translates to a traditional Korean home, we wish for the experience of visiting us to replicate the intimate experience of inviting guests into our home. Our hope is to make the culture of coffee and our namesake more accessible and enjoyable to those who have an interest or have yet to experience it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Our goal with Hanok Coffee is to be exceptional in all that we do. Everything that we put out is a representation of who we are, so something that we want to prioritize in that process is to take our time and not rush anything in order to put out a product that we are proud of. We as a team made the decision early on to start small as a pop-up rather than aiming to start a store right away, so that we can get a feel for the business and slowly grow our business and name in the area. As first-time business owners, there were and still are many lessons to be learned, but we believe that our slow approach will prove valuable.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is special because it is a vast city with pockets are different neighborhoods that each has its unique characteristics and offerings. I would include a visit to a different coffee shop in each day as we travel, since coffee culture also varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. I would spend most of our time in east LA including Silverlake, Echo Park, and Highland Park, but also include some coastal visits to the beach such as Manhattan Beach and Venice, and Palos Verdes for a vivid sunset view. I would be sure to include visits to renowned museums such as the Getty, Hammer, and MOCA, which allows us to visit different spots around the city in the process. LA offers some of the most diverse and best foods from all cultures, so I would recommend Korean BBQ in Koreatown, tacos from around town, and some traditional dim sum in the east Valley.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We could not be where we are without the help and encouragement from other small businesses in the community. Some friends were generous with guidance include Onggi Ferments, Persimmon Coffee, MAUM, and Seoul Sausage who welcome and enjoy the presence of like-minded folks. All of their efforts to support us and others inspire us to do the same for present and future generations of others in our community.

Website: https://hanokcoffee.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hanokcoffee/

Other: hello@hanokcoffee.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.