For Rodrigo Rodriguez and Denisse Melgoza, the beginning of their journey into entrepreneurship was a bit serendipitous.
The two were having breakfast at Pegah’s in Vista when they saw a drive-thru coffee hut in the parking lot. They had both recently lost their hospitality jobs during the pandemic and were ready for a change. After that breakfast, they called the owner of the hut — who was also looking for a change.
Without any background in running a coffee business, the duo got into contact with local roasters, Manzanita Roasting Company, who taught them how to make coffee and use an espresso machine. As they started working on their new business, the concept of their coffee shop started to take shape.
“When we started working on the hut itself, we always said ‘we’re going to go to El Kafecito.’ We would just tell that to our parents and it just kind of stuck around. We liked the name. When working on the menu, I remember we saw a white chocolate mocha and I was like ‘why don’t we call it something different like a lechera?’ and we kind of just started going from there,” said Denisse Melgoza, co-owner of El Kafecito. “It felt right for us because we’re familiar with the flavors,” she added.
Their menu includes classics like lattes and americanos alongside Mexican-inspired coffees like a Dulce de Leche latte, a Mazapán latte and their most popular drink, the Horchata Latte.
“There’s not too many places where you can go find Horchata, Très Leches [coffees] — the Vista community itself, we wanted to give them something we feel they could connect to.”Rodrigo Rodriguez, co-owner of El Kafecito
They opened El Kafecito in March 2021. In the future, they would like to go mobile with their coffee and also try selling at events. “It’s been surreal. What we really enjoy is that we’ve met so many people, in general, it’s a learning experience but really it’s the customers that help us put it together,” said Rodriguez.
El Kafecito is located at: 949 S Santa Fe Ave, Vista, CA 92083.