Mexican Roasts Will Soon Caffeinate Vroman’s Bookstore Patrons When Tepito Coffee Steps Into Former Jones Nook

Replacing Jones Coffee at the front of Vroman’s bookstore, Tepito Coffee is all set for their launch later this year.
Published on Sep 7, 2022

Tepito Coffee owners Mike de la Rocha and Richard Cabral. [Courtesy photo]

Serving Mexican-grown coffee, Tepito Coffee plans to open inside Vroman’s Bookstore next month in a space left vacant by Jones Coffee in January.

“We have some of the best coffee in the world that’s organically grown in Veracruz, Mexico in a small community called Boca Del Monte. And we’re really excited to center the farmers and some of the beautiful traditions and practices of our LatinX community. We’re really excited to be at Vroman’s,” owner Mike de la Rocha said. 

For both owners – de la Rocha and Emmy-nominated actor Richard Cabral, opening Tepito Coffee’s first retail store at Vroman’s is more than a source of pride. De la Rocha said the bookstore has a very special place in their heart. 

“Growing up, we frequent there a lot. For me personally, I would go and meet mentors, go buy some books and lunch across the street,” he said. “It started just with our mutual love of books and reading, honestly. And Vroman’s essentially is a landmark and across from the iconic Playhouse. It just made complete sense for us as artists. The opportunity presented itself to us, and we just felt super blessed to be able to be a part of such an institution.”


De la Rocha and Cabral said they started working on the concept of Tepito Coffee the year before COVID-19 started. It was a time of unpredictability, but de la Rocha and Cabral also saw it as an opportunity to sell directly to consumers at a time when so many were staying home. 

They said they source their coffee beans from a partner, Caffe Pecora, in Veracruz, Mexico. De la Rocha said Tepito is Caffe Pecora’s sole private-label client, and he and Cabral work closely with Carlos Avendaño Mendoza, Pecora co-founder, on the details relating to the quality and branding of Tepito products. 

“Before it is moved from the farm to be roasted, it stays in its natural climate. It takes one hour and a half to get to Mexico City from the farm and it’s roasted immediately as soon as it touches down in Mexico City,” Cabral said. 

Both founders said they visited Caffe Pecora’s coffee farms to learn about the coffee growing process. 

“We are constantly at the farm knowing what and when the harvest is,” Cabral said. 

“We’ve taken into account the expertise and the wisdom of the farmers,” de la Rocha added. “So we’re forecasting based upon what’s happening in the soil, temperature, weather, and climate change. We’re able to do this so that as we’re forecasting and scaling, we’re able to talk to other farmers in the neighboring region to supply more coffee if we need them to.” 

For its staffing requirements, Tepito partners with Homeboy Industries, a gang rehabilitation and post-incarceration reentry nonprofit that provides training and employment opportunities for people who’ve been previously incarcerated. 

Tepito Coffee now has distribution, e-commerce and retail coffee pop-ups throughout LA County with Homeboy Industries-trained workers. 

“With our partnership with Homeboy Industries, we want to make sure that we’re always giving back to our community members that oftentimes don’t have opportunities or resources like I did,” de la Rocha said. “So we’re really excited.”

Tepito Coffee also plans to launch canned coffee in the near future, but for the meantime they’re focused on responding to the enthusiastic reception they are getting since word got out that they’re opening soon at Vroman’s. 

“We are so grateful that some of the best coffee in the world comes from Mexico. And we want to highlight that and celebrate that.” 

To learn more about Tepito Coffee, visit

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