We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcela Estrop and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcela, what matters most to you?
The value or principle that most matters to me is integrity. I believe that without integrity you will not have sustained success in your personal or professional life. Having a strong moral character, treating all people with kindness & respect, and being honest leads to success. As a mother it is important for me to be honest and open with my son. He needs me to be reliable and to do what I say I am going to do in order to feel safe and cared for. He needs to know he can trust me. Transferring these principles to my professional life have made me a successful business woman. In business, employees and customers need to be able to trust me. If employees trust me to pay them on time, to be organized so they can do their job easily and efficiently they will want to work for me. In catering communication, organization, and punctuality are everything. If clients trust that I will operate under these standards they will work with me. Clients are counting on me to make their event special, but also less stressful. They need to know they can rely on me to do what I say I will do. I have had great success simply by word of mouth and good reviews. Clients like doing business with me because I offer exceptional customer service from beginning to end and I deliver on my word. I promise a high-quality coffee experience and this is what I bring every time.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Coffee Cart San Diego is a full-service, upscale mobile espresso bar. We hand craft espresso beverages in the moment using high-end espresso equipment and our own brand of 100% arabica coffee. We specialize in weddings, private parties and events bringing the specialty coffee experience to you. What sets us apart from others is our dedication to quality and superior customer service. I was in sales for 25 years before I started the The Coffee Cart San Diego and my success in sales was my ability to sell a good product, but more importantly build long lasting relationships with customers through excellent customer service. I believe a cart can be beautiful and the quality of the coffee can be superior, but if customer service is bad no one will care about what you look or taste like. I have learned that if a client’s experience is mediocre with a vendor they will work with someone else the next time they have an event. I pride myself on excellent communication with a client from start to finish as well as exceptional organization skills to bring the upscale coffee experience I promise to life for the client. I am most proud that I was able to survive Covid with a 6 month shut down, develop my own line of espresso called Luminosity ( a Mexican Altura blend with notes of caramel, nut and chocolate) during this time and have more business right now than I can handle because of word of mouth. I have learned so much along the way, but the biggest lesson I learned was to have faith in myself and what I know makes a business successful. I want the world to associate The Coffee Cart San Diego with high-end, delicious espresso catering.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them up north to Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach to have coffee and breakfast at Lofty Coffee. I love their oat milk latte and poached eggs. We could take a walk through the design district afterwards. I love all the furniture & clothing shops. From there we would make our way up to Encinitas to the Self Realization Fellowship Center and stroll through their beautiful meditation gardens. We could take a side street and make our way down one of the many cul-de-sacs to the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean and admire the miraculous view. For lunch we could head to the 101 and have lunch at The Taco Stand. This place is cute and has a quaint outdoor seating area. They serve a delicious corn on the cob with mayo, cheese, chile and lime they way I ate it as a child growing up in Mexico City as well as tasty tacos de nopal (cactus leaf). Their flavors are authentically Mexican and the tacos are small street tacos. I love strolling up and down this part of the 101 because of all of the shops and restaurants. I would take my guest to Earth’s Elements (across the street from The Taco Stand) after lunch to check out the crystals and books. I love their collection of Morning Star Japanese incenses.
For dinner I would head back to my neighborhood for an upscale dinner and cocktail at Fort Oak in Mission Hills. They have a gorgeous bar in what was once the old Ford dealership. They have an upscale yet accessible menu with their Petit Tower an assortment of crudo delicacies being my favorite along with their Fairlane cocktail which is the perfect mix of sour, sweet and bubbly (gin, grapefruit, lemon, elderflower and prosecco).
I would make sure that during the week my guest spends time at the beach. I would take her on a hike in Torrey Pines State reserve and then for some sun bathing and swimming at Torrey Pines State Beach. I would also take her to Shelter Island for a walk and lunch at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa. The Vessel Restaurant has incredible waterfront views.
I would not leave out a trip to Balboa park and the botanical gardens. The beauty of the botanical gardens and variety of plants is breathtaking. The Japanese garden is also a beautiful sanctuary I would take her to enjoy the gardens and some delicious Japanese tea.
For dinner there are so many excellent Japanese restaurants. I would take my friend for ramen at Miyasaki in Hillcrest. I love their vegan ramen made with soy broth and spinach noodels and another day for sushi at Hane Sushi in Banker’s Hill. Everything they make is excellent and fresh.
Lastly, I think a trip to San Diego is not complete without a trip to downtown La Jolla to admire the seals at the Children’s Pool and then a walk over to La Jolla Cove. There are plenty of dining options including a drink at the historical La Valencia Hotel or a meal at Catania Restaurant on Girard Ave. They have a lovely outdoor patio overlooking Girard Street and the Ocean. Their menu has a lot of seafood options with the whole roasted branzino being my favorite.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My business would not exist without the initial mentorship of Kent Bakke former CEO of La Marzocco in 2019. A friend introduced us and I spent a week in Seattle with him brainstorming possible business ideas. It was Kent who told me as we made our way back to Seattle from Mukilteo Coffee Roasters that I should start an espresso catering business. From that point forth it was non-stop. I worked with the guys at Capsule Made in Orange County to have my rover built and Design, Bitches in LA for the design of the cart. I consulted with June of Welcome Coffee Cart in Santa Barbara who helped me structure pricing and figure out how I would transport my 800 pound cart! Espresso Solutions in San Diego were wonderful in delivering my La Marzocco GS3 to me and helping me keep all of my equipment in great shape to this day. My partnership with Daymar Artisan Coffee Roasters to develop my own line of espresso in April 2020 was key in keeping my business alive during the pandemic when catering was not possible. On a spiritual level, my work with writer and mentor David K. Miller and my participation in his meditation group for planetary and personal healing, Group Of Forty, has helped me stay grounded, focused and determined to push my business forward despite the obvious planetary crisis we are in.
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