THE TRUTH ABOUT STELLA
Well, then you've come to the right place.
Hi! We are Josh and Emilie, and we met in college.
In fact, Josh was in line in front of Emilie at the International Student Orientation and from there on out we were best friends. And just a few years later—married. We later discovered that despite coming from two different countries (Josh is German🇩🇪, Emilie is Norwegian🇳🇴)—we had been just 300 feet apart a couple of years earlier - in the Netherlands.
The beginning of our Business
After studying in the US for a few years, we knew we wanted to build something. So, in 2018, we decided to get married & then purchase a business (called Carthay Café) and apply for an E-2 visa which would allow us to live and work in the US indefinitely so long as we keep our business running.
Owning and operating a business—a café especially—is extremely tiring and stressful. But for two years we operated Carthay Café and during that time we learned invaluable lessons (we are very thankful for making so many mistakes!)—about ourselves and about running a business.
Emilie with Norwegian actor Rune Temte of "Captain Marvel" fame! One of our first visitors when we were still Carthay Café (2018).
That's why, when the pandemic hit - we knew we couldn't fold. So we sat here every day from 4.30am till 5.30pm, just hoping we would get any customers.
A special thanks to Karen, Doug, and Ben for keeping us in business!
On the flip side - we got to know our customers better and connect with them in a way we never had before. It would have been easier to throw in the towel and go home. But our life was (is) here in Los Angeles.
Given that we were sitting there every day not doing much - we started to look around: what changes could we make? How could we make this a profitable space? We decided to rebrand. Instead of focusing on food - we started to focus on the coffee. We already had some amazing food items, so why not double down on making perfectly brewed lattes? We started working with Gavina Coffee - a family owned and operated coffee brewery in Los Angeles. They helped us understand the importance of good coffee and trained our staff to become expert level baristas.
The beginning of Stella Coffee
The truth is that we never intended for this coffee shop to have a Frenchie logo. Instead, an acquaintance of Emilie gave birth to a baby girl and gave her the name Stella. Emilie quickly fell in love with the name and convinced Joshua that this was the perfect name for our future daughter (if we ever have one!).
But, suddenly the name Stella made sense for our new baby (the new and improved café). Since Stella means star, we first thought the logo would be a star in a circle.
The first sketch of our logo as a star.
No matter what we did—it looked like Starbucks Reserve.
Then, one day, we drove by a puppy day care with a Frenchie as their logo and Emilie exclaimed "THAT'S IT!! We need to have a Frenchie as our logo!”.
Turns out, Frenchies are the perfect role models: love to chill and sleep, but also smile bright, are always happy to see you—and always gets voted “Most likely to be extra af.”
And no - we had no idea that the Frenchie in Modern Family is called Stella too. But we LOVE the association.
So who are we today?
We are a team of fun people (no really) who love coming to work (most of the time) and who offer delicious coffee, wraps, sandwiches, salads, and warm food. But most importantly - we offer a warm smile and some energy to get our guests through the rest of their day! And if you don’t feel 1000% after coming to Stella - please do not hesitate to reach us at JoshandEm@stellacoffeela.com — we’ll be happy to hear from you!
See below for some before and afters of our space throughout the years!