Alex Kippling, owner and operator of SPLA Coffee
The Central West BusinessSource Center assisted a local entrepreneur in reviewing his business plan and financials, helping him secure a $20,000 loan toward opening SPLA (São Paulo to Los Angeles) Coffee, a Brazilian specialty coffee shop scheduled to open in Chinatown in September 2017.

Alexander (Alex) Kippling worked as a Barista at a coffee shop while finishing his degree in Latin American studies at Willamette University. In 2014, Alex came across a specialty Brazilian coffee roaster in Portland, OR, and decided to pursue a career in the coffee industry.

In 2015, Alex moved to São Paulo, Brazil to help open one of Brazil’s most successful and sustainable coffee shops, Isso é Café. There, he was introduced to the farm-to-cup model: coffee grown and processed only hours away from where it was being used for consumption. After developing relationships with several key coffee producers and roasters in São Paulo, Alex began to shape an idea that would become the concept behind SPLA Coffee.

Earlier this year, Alex realized that to successfully execute his idea he would need additional capital and found help at the Central West BusinessSource Center. With the additional funds, SPLA Coffee will be able to purchase equipment to operate the shop and upgrade electrical and plumbing at the SPLA storefront, which will be part of the Kim Sing Theatre redevelopment project.

SPLA aspires to be a coffee shop that caters to the local Chinatown community and coffee aficionados. Once opened, it will explore hiring local residents for barista and barista-in-training positions.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES Newsletter from the week of 7/31/2017. Read this issue and more.