You’ve probably heard about Riley Hawk’s Steel Mill Coffee & Music shop that he opened with Shea Cooper, Figgy, Tony Hawk, and others in Oceanside last month. He gives the backstory on why he decided to spearhead this project in the latest episode of The Nine Club. It turns out that the move was a lot more calculated than it appears on the surface given Shea’s background in coffee, and the marketing power of the crew invested in the venture.
I think what I saw is a lot of shops didn’t even have the knowledge that Shea did, or the marketing side / crew behind it that were doing well. It’s like, “If they can do it, we can crush it.” You never want to think you can crush it because everything is a reality check, and humbling. But I just knew that we could do it. It could work. I met with my dad. I sat down with him, and told him that we want to do this. He was just kind of like, “Oh, I don’t know. It’s a a lot of work.” It was crazy. I pitched the whole thing—everything, like how we have the crew, all this stuff. By the end of it, he was like, “Wow, I think it could work.” I sold him on the sales pitch. His blessing made me think it could work. So I set the steps in motion. We had a concept. But we didn’t have a space or anything. The whole reason was that Shea’s parents retired from the coffee shop a few years ago. And they put the machine in storage, the La Marzocco. It was in the storage in Boise. They were like, “If you want to try and do this, it’s yours…” That’s a huge leg up. They’re very expensive.
Watch the entire episode above. The story about opening the coffee shop starts at 2:09:27.