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Anya and Matt Schodorf thought they knew their neighbors. Then they opened Café de Leche—and realized just how powerfully a small business connects you to your community.
Anya and Matt lived in Highland Park, Los Angeles, for years before opening their coffee shop. Their timing was less than perfect: the recession hit just as Café de Leche opened for business, a time when many Americans were steering clear of small indulgences like lattes. “Is this going to go down in a ball of flames?” Matt wondered.
But Café de Leche soldiered on and became a neighborhood mainstay. The success didn’t feel real at first, Anya and Matt admit. It wasn’t until Anya opened the cash register to make change for a customer, she says, that it really hit her: “We’re actually in business!”
Anya and Matt pride themselves on being a Highland Park fixture and continue to serve up their top-notch coffee to friends, neighbors, and visitors. As Anya puts it, “Serving really good amazing coffee was always our thing.”
Watch the video for a taste of Café de Leche and a closer look at Anya and Matt’s endearing history.