No super cool.
That’s how many describe the vibe at Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery in mid – City, Los Angeles.
The little coffee shop that almost wasn’t is fast becoming a hot spot for those who love a cup of coffee in a joint that elicits that Amsterdam feeling of freedom, passion, art and culture.
The once art gallery has been revived with a permanent exhibit of some of the most provocative art pieces from local artist and imbibed with CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana touted for its inflammation and pain relieving properties.
Upon request, owner and entrepreneur Josh Mock, 40, infuses any coffee or tea drink featured on his menu with CBD, and his customers are feeling it and along with the coffee shop’s eclectic, artistic vibe.
Flat White, Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Piccolo, Macchiato – Mock says he’s got you. He knows his way around an espresso machine. And his mixology skills are on smooth display with his offerings of several exotic iced chai tea drinks and his concoctions of iced juice drinks he calls “LAmonade.”
“Amsterdam Latte is my favorite drink on the menu,” said Mock. It’s basically my four favorite drinks in one – chai tea latte, matcha latte, vanilla latte and caramel latté. It’s the most popular drink on the menu.”
Mock’s journey to this watercolor canvas of latte dreams has been no crystal stairs.
“This has been a journey. When I went into business I didn’t know a whole lot. What I learned is that compliance issues are very serious. I spend tens of thousands in dollars making building, safety and health modifications, and while making these changes I got evicted three times,” said Mock with a gaze of reflection. “People go to college and pay a lot to learn what I experienced. I consider this my education,” Mock said adding he hopes aspiring entrepreneurs will learn from his experience.
Today the sound of success is the sweet sound of an espresso machine frothing milk for lattes. Mock couldn’t be happier because Little Amsterdam reopened in late January to a community of awaiting and endearing coffee klatchers, fans and followers who have longed to reconnect with the good vibes and cool connections that had become a part of their daily lives.
Mock hasn’t missed a beat since he reopened or perhaps stoke is a better word. The art that lines the walls is bold and spirited, much like the coffee and tea offerings that have made Little Amsterdam the “spot.” The permanent exhibit is curated by creative director and fashion designer Phree Art (known as Phree), 29, a whimsical and audacious young artist and fashion designer who views the fusion of art and coffee as the gateway to social immersion.
“This is a very intimate space,” said Phree as his eyes moved about the coffee shop and art gallery with a sense of satisfaction. “When Josh decided to open up the space for events, one of our first events was art an exhibit that featured fashion and jewelry designers. The turnout was overwhelming and it allowed a lot of artists to manifest their dreams.”
Mock says Little Amsterdam will also be place to foster creativity in children. His future plans include holding painting, fashion, music and dance workshops.
While success has been a bumpy road for Mock one thing is clear – his quiet, indomitable spirit is unquestionable. Mock says his mother has been a great inspiration and his three children are the reason he has never given up. Having the opportunity to build something that has longevity is everything to Mock. He’s seizing this moment because he wants to make sure his children benefit from his sacrifice and hard work.
Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery will soon turn the page and write a new chapter. Mock is set to soon open a second location with a similar theme on La Brea Avenue and 11th Street. Not content to be a Mom and Pop shop, Mock wants to make Little Amsterdam a coveted destination spot.
You may not be a barista or mixologist like Mock, but perhaps you might want to try your hand at making his Amsterdam LAmonade, which he has modified so you can make it at home. It’s a popular drink and there’s good reason: it is refreshingly good. The mixture of juices combined with vanilla and a lemon and honey simple syrupy elevates this drink to something just beyond lemonade. Give it a try and think Little Amsterdam thoughts with each sip.
Little Amsterdam Coffee Shop and Art Gallery is located at 1412 S. Redondo Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019. It is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Follow them on Instagram at @little.amsterdam.coffee for upcoming events.
Little Amsterdam LAmonade
A refreshingly delicious, iced drink.
1/2 cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup of your favorite peach nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the simple syrup, combine honey, vanilla extract and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the honey has dissolved; let cool.
- In a large pitcher, whisk together simple syrup, pineapple juice, peach nectar and 5 cups water.
- Place in the refrigerator until chilled.
- Serve over ice.