ParadICE Shave Ice owners open new coffee company in same location
Adding another brand to one’s business may not sound like the normal thing to do amid the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that’s exactly what ParadICE Hawaiian Shave Ice & Ice Cream co-owners Lee Jacobs and Marek Nold have done by introducing Hustle & Grind Coffee Company.
Sharing the same space in Paseo Nuevo as ParadICE, Hustle & Grind serves coffee and small eats such as avocado toast, the former roasted by Goleta-based Caje Coffee and bread for the latter sourced from Helena Avenue Bakery. According to a press release promoting Hustle & Grind, this partnering with local businesses is meant to embody the spirit of getting through this challenging year.
“More so than ever, the year 2020 has shown that life is a grind and we are all doing our best to hustle through it together. Maintaining a positive outlook is vital and so is good fuel to keep us moving in the right direction,” it read.
Business partners who are also childhood friends going back 25 years, Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Nold opened ParadICE in 2018. Mr. Nold said the business is a “dream job” for him and Mr. Jacobs, who both work full-time in IT sales. Busy men between their nine to five jobs and their dream business, the hard work demanded of them in part inspired the name of their latest venture.
“Hence the name ‘Hustle & Grind,’” Mr. Nold remarked.
Mr. Nold and Mr. Jacobs decided to add coffee to their business since they are both avid coffee drinkers, and because shaved ice sales tend to slow down during the winter months. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the two owners took time to figure out how they wanted to increase their business under the circumstances, since just selling shaved ice wasn’t going to cut it.
“It wasn’t going to stand up on its own,” Mr. Jacobs said.
When the News-Press stopped by Hustle & Grind and ParadICE on Monday morning, barista Kelly Adams said some of the shop’s regular shaved ice customers were surprised and a little bit confused when they saw two businesses where there was formerly only one.
She said, “Some of the old regulars were like, ‘Oh, are you guys new?’”
In Mr. Nold’s opinion, having Hustle & Grind in the same space as ParadICE isn’t too confusing, as it fits in with the modern practice of multiple businesses sharing one location, which is done by local businesses like Cubaneo restaurant, Modern Times Taproom, and Shaker Mill.
“I think that concept is now fully accepted, and we thought, “We have the location for ParadICE, and creating two brands, I think people will accept it and it’s not too confusing anymore,” he said.
Hustle & Grind first opened to the public on Oct. 15 and for the past two weeks has been going through what Mr. Nold called a “soft opening” without too much public announcement. Mr. Jacobs told the News-Press that quietly introducing Hustle & Grind made it so they could get employees up to speed before going full blast on promoting the business.
“We needed to make sure we had everybody trained and that we were ramped up and ready to go. We feel confident at this point so we’re going to start getting the word out there,” he said.
The new coffee shop is managed by Dylan Tighe, who Ms. Adams said has done a great deal of research into finding the best possible ingredients for making coffee and other beverages. Mr. Jacobs referred to Mr. Tighe as a “coffee guru.”
“I would give Dylan credit in a huge way in helping us launch ‘Hustle & Grind,’’ the co-owner said.
In the press release, Mr. Tighe stated that Hustle & Grind’s menu offers a blend of classic Italian coffees as well as specialty coffee drinks such as the lavender molasses late. The specialty late, like all Hustle & Grind drinks and ParadICE shaved ice, utilizes house-made syrups.
Customers at the Hustle & Grind on Monday morning were pleased with the new coffee shop. Santa Barbara resident Samantha Benson said that she far prefers local mom-and-pop coffee shops to chains like Starbucks, so Hustle & Grind is a welcome addition. Having been a customer of ParadICE, seeing it share a location with a coffee shop was a “pleasant surprise.”
Torrance resident Noah Fleder was up in Santa Barbara for the day and tried Hustle & Grind’s avocado toast which he said was in “the top 10 avocado toasts” he’d had in his life.
Hustle & Grind is currently offering a free cup of coffee to anyone who signs up on its website www.hustleandgrindcoffee.com. The shop is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.