Pacifica, CA

First person in Pacifica: Intertwine Coffee owner on big changes in his business and on Palmetto Avenue

Kristen Philipkoski

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Intertwine Coffee in Pacifica, CA

The energy on Pacifica's Palmetto Avenue promenade has picked up in recent months, and Intertwine Cafe is a big part of the transformation.

As I wrote previously, it was once a challenge to find a good cup of coffee in Pacifica. In the decade since I moved there, that problem has been more than resolved with pour-over and high-end espresso drinks now plentiful in the area.

Intertwine recently opened in one of the two small, cottage-style buildings that have long been landmarks on Palmetto. Formerly Kizler's Coffee, which was located in the small shopping center on Palmetto in the Pacific Manor neighborhood (between Safeway and McDonald's), owner Josh Kizler renamed and relocated his business to the opposite end of the street.

I caught up with Kizler to find out about the big changes to his business, Palmetto Avenue and Pacifica as a whole.

Was Kizler Coffee your first business? What did you do before that?

"Kizler Coffee was my first business. Prior to business I worked in international development for seven years, first as a Small Business Development Peace Corps Volunteer and then for a large consulting firm as a financial administrator on a public health project."

How long was Kizler Coffee open, and why did you move and change the name?

"The business is now in its seventh year of business. Our new location was a much better fit fo what we needed; less space, lower rent, and much more foot traffic. I wanted to distance myself and my name from the business to develop a more objective marketing stance."

Were you worried about the added complications of doing all of this during the pandemic? What was the most challenging part?

"The pandemic was the impetus to create a more sustainable, streamlined business. While revenue has been decimated, I have been able to streamline our operations, improve our service, jobs, job pay, and product quality. Transforming a salon into a cafe in three months is probably the greatest accomplishment of my life, to date. It required so many moving parts, from plumbing and electric to City and County ordinances. I was unfamiliar with the majority of this process and I lacked the luxury of closing our doors. We closed our business at the old location and opened the doors at the new location two days later. Having virtually zero down time was extremely challenging."

How has the experience been so far in the new space?

"We love the new space, though it has taken time to settle in. Business patterns are very different, with more people walking in during afternoons than mornings, which is somewhat contrary to a typical cafe flow. There are also small differences in how we operate, like rolling out the trash bins, which we never did before. The differences are small but foreign, and so we are still adapting, and I think I am in a bit of shock that might still take some time to accept."

Palmetto Avenue seems to have so much potential, do you have hopes for things you'd like to see happen on that strip? If so, what would you like to see?

"I would like to see food trucks, pop-up shops, small businesses tabling and selling, and more people walking, sitting, and dining outdoors in a shared communal and public space. Cities are cash-strapped and activities like this can be used to generate revenue while developing businesses and community."

Based on your client interactions would you say Pacifica is changing? And if so, how?

"Purely anecdoctal, but the population seems to be getting younger. Over the last seven years I have seen fewer customers in their 50s-60s and more younger clients (20s-30s)."

You have an art show coming up on March 6, what should people know about the event?

"The March 6th event (from 12-4pm) will include local artists, musicians, crafters, and a food vendor. Artists will be painting live in our backyard, which will be viewable from outside the yard, where customers can shop goods from the participating local vendors."

Do you have future events planned?

"Nothing specific but in general yes, my goal is to continue organizing local events with other small businesses."

What's the best thing about owning a coffee shop?

"Owning a coffee shop, or any business, is constantly challenging. There is no such thing as a perfect business—improvements can always be made. The challenge of trying to constantly improve is amazing and dynamic because decisions involve staff, customers, vendors, money, and planning. I have fun."

What would you say makes Intertwine stand out from other coffee shops?

"We strive to be a community-based business that gives back to and serves the community whenever possible. We focus purchasing on local, small businesses and we invite other local businesses to collaborate sell through our business. We care about the customer experience as much as serving a quality cup of coffee and we want people to feel better leaving our cafe."

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I'm a veteran writer and editor and founder of Mean Magazine and The Mean Podcast for GenX women. I write about everything from fashion to science and everything in between. I’ve written for Racked, Refinery 29, 7x7, SF Chronicle, Wired, Gizmodo and many others.

Pacifica, CA
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