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Buy Local, Santa Monica: Kafe K is a vision realized, right here on Main Street

May 7, 2021 9:00 AM
by Erin Taylor

Buy Local, Santa Monica: Kafe K is a vision realized, right here on Main Street

How did your business get started? What are some interesting facts about your business?  

The war, political, and economic crises forced us to flee from Serbia to sunny California. Armed with diplomas in chemical engineering and law, my husband and I believed it was going to be easy to find a job. Not at all. I had to start all over again and he had to start as an apprentice. Maybe it's easy when you come as a young person, but a heavier load is put on your back when you are in your forties. In the meantime, we got jobs in the restaurant business.

One day I was passing by some old, dusty art gallery and a sculpture of a man pleasantly drinking from a mug caught my eye. I thought, "it could be great for the logo for some coffee shop.” I bought the sculpture and put it on my shelf as a reminder.

There is no perfect place on Earth, there is always something missing! Here in the States, we immediately noticed the lack of social life, rich local gatherings, and mini spots where neighbors could hang out, get some coffee, exchange some laughs and thoughts. Knowing that, we came up with an idea to create a space for that purpose. After 12 years, we made our vision happen. It's not about the coffee or sandwich you buy, it's more about getting a chance to meet somebody, have a chat, and help others in need. I wish every neighborhood in LA could have its own coffee shop of this kind. It could bring people together, make more tighter bonds, and build support and trust.

Any achievement or success starts with someone's dream.

It has been a challenging year. What has helped you get through this difficult time? 

We have had the same crew since we opened 12 years ago. We are like a family to each other. That's exactly what helped us to strive through this very difficult time. We did it thanks to the help and support of each other and the support of our local community.

Describe what your business does. What types of products/services do you offer? 

People love to gather around the table, talk, and enjoy food. That part we didn't forget. We created our menu to satisfy all tastes, with a variety of healthy options for meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans. Everything is made from scratch, organic, and fresh. On the menu, we have homemade soups, quiche, dressings, and desserts. Our suppliers are all local and from farmers markets. We love to support other small businesses and are open to carrying their products.  

What is your favorite Santa Monica business?  

Right now, most of the population is isolated, lonely, and depressed. We value personal touch, warmth, an informal attitude, kindness, and hospitality. That's why I love Lula restaurant on Main St. It radiates positive energy, authenticity, and joy. If we want a healthier and happier society, we have to start from the local community base, to nourish and love our neighbors first, as well the staff you are working with. 

What do you hope for the future of our Santa Monica community?

We would love to see Santa Monica more clean, vibrant, and busy with people, like it used to be. We can do it if we, as a community, have the same goals and vision. From our side, we are doing our part by becoming a Certified Sustainable Green Small Business, and we initiated the mural painting on the Community Corporation building on Main and Pacific Streets. 

Kafe K

Open Sunday – Friday, 8am – 2pm; Saturday, 8am – 4pm

2209 Main Street, Unit B

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 399-6369

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