Founders: Ajay Relan & Yonnie Hagos
Location: Inglewood & View Park California
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen was founded by Los Angeles natives who spent their formative years in the neighborhoods of Inglewood and View Park, where they chose to plant their shop’s roots. “You can drive all over LA and find neighborhoods with coffee shops on every corner – West Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Venice. These are community gathering spaces that function as more than just a coffee shop; they’re incubators of creativity. There was nothing like that in our neighborhood,” said Ajay Relan. It is this connection and commitment to their community that truly sets Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen apart from the crowd. When asked what the shop's greatest achievement is, Ajay notes, “Acceptance by the community. From the jump, our aim has been for Hilltop to be a place that sets the tone for your entire day and is there for you when you need it – in good times and less good times. We take the responsibility of bringing that to the community to heart.”
From the jump, our aim has been for Hilltop to be a place that sets the tone for your entire day and is there for you when you need it.
Q: What advice would you give to someone dreaming of owning their own small business?
A: Buckle up. You never know when a global pandemic is going to hit. In all seriousness, it’s so important to be smart with your money, understand who your customer is, and focus your energy on serving them.
Q: How do you want customers to feel when they visit your shop?
A: One of the first pieces of media coverage we ever got in LA led with the headline, “Everyone Belongs at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Our ethos throughout all the things we have created has always been ‘good vibes only’. Everything carries the thoughtfulness and the creativity in the experience—so that people feel inspired and motivated to better themselves.”
Q: What is your coffee drink of choice?
A: Honey oat milk latte or “Hi, honey,” as I like to call it.
Q: What is your preferred drinking temperature?