By JUSTIN CRIPE
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. — A woman with ties to Goshen has found entrepreneurial success in California.
Andrea McClain, a 1996 Goshen High School graduate, has been running the M Street Coffee shop in Sherman Oaks, Calif., which is located just northwest of Los Angeles, for roughly a year and a half.
“Running my own independent coffee shop has been the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life,” McClain said.
After graduation, McClain went to Butler University, graduating with a degree in art administration. Following college, she moved to Boston, where she did some post-graduate work at Harvard University and helped manage some retail businesses to gain experience. Eventually, McClain said, she was “drawn to the sun” and moved to the West Coast.
McClain opened the shop in January 2008 after working a few odd jobs, including helping get another coffee shop off the ground. But she dreamed of opening and operating her own shop in her own vision. Thus, M Street Coffee was born. It got its name from its location along Moorpark Street, and because “M” is the initial of McClain’s middle and last name.
The shop has plenty of quirks that draw her customers in. Along with offering plenty of coffee-related drinks, McClain has defined her area as more than a profit-turner, offering to host art exhibits monthly in order to give young up-and-coming artists a chance to showcase their talents.
“We rotate the art each month to keep the space fresh and help promote a wide range of local artists,” McClain said.
The shop also strives to be eco-friendly. M Street Coffee recycles all of its waste and uses as many “green” materials as possible. Organic fresh products are used when possible — including locally roasted coffee and espresso — and the shop carries a variety of milk alternatives including almond, rice and soy to suit vegans.
“In the beginning we went with the flow concerning some of these details — now we are able to analyze costs and benefits much easier to get a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t,” McClain said.
McClain said that over the past 17 months, business is “still picking up,” with new customers coming on a regular basis.
“Even with a lot of people unemployed, most can still afford a cup of coffee,” she said.
To accommodate those people looking for jobs in the California area, the shop has wireless Internet available.
McClain has roots still tied to the Goshen area, with her mother living in Goshen and brother in Bristol. McClain also teaches piano on the side, with 10 students she sees on a weekly basis.
For more information about the business, visit the Web site www.mstreetcoffee.com.
Andrea McClain opens coffee shop in California.
By JUSTIN CRIPE
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