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New Coffee Shop Comes to Slauson
By Shannen Hill , Contributing Writer
Published August 23, 2018

Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen finds a home in a hidden walkway near Slauson and Overhill. Photo Credit: Ed Rudolph

The Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen joins Simply Wholesome, Orleans & York and La Louisanne as a new coffeeshop on Slauson and Overhill.

Ajay Relan, 32, and Yonnie Hagos, 31, both grew up near Slauson and Overhill, but didn’t meet until they were adults. A mutual friend introduced them and they ended up becoming business partners in buying The Parlor, a sports bar on Melrose Ave. About a year ago, Relan and Hagos decided to expand and build a restaurant from the ground up. More than a restaurant, the co-owners of the Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen wanted to create a space in their community where people could meet and be inspired. As soon as they saw the space on Slauson and Overhill, they knew that it’d be perfect.

“When we first started thinking of names we said the Hilltop because we’re on top of a hill, but then we started thinking about how we all have goals and obstacles and things that we have to overcome, climb and work towards every single morning,” said Relan. “Our mission is to make people feel inspired. We wanted to make something that could serve as a meeting place for local creatives and community organizers. We want people to be energized by conversation and fueled by the food that we’re creating.”

Yonnie Hagos (left) and Ajay Relan (right) add a coffee shop to their Good Vibes Only businesses.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Johnson

Drinks start with the Hilltop’s coffee, which is made from an Ethiopian blend and a Guatemalan blend. They also have espresso drinks, cold-pressed juice and teas. Some of the standout drinks include a tumeric latte and a lavender latte. Even though coffee is first in the name, the kitchen menu is even larger. The menu has salad bowls, open-faced sandwiches and beignets served with berries and Nutella. There is a large range in ingredients, from almond milk to grits to pickled red onion. The co-owners wanted a trendy, fresh menu while also incorporating some homestyle ingredients. The food options range from a trendy acai bowl to a short rib grilled cheese sandwich. Prices are pretty reasonable as well starting at $2.50 and ending at $13.

“We have some things that are light and some that are heavy, a little bit of everything” said Hagos. “But pricing is a big deal for us. We want to show that you can have fresh ingredients and still be affordable.”

Along with getting a bite to eat, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen also has free Wi-Fi and plenty of outlets so that people can come and get some work done. The environment is also inspiring with hidden quotes throughout the restaurant with sayings like, “Keep Your Head Up,” “What a Time to Be Alive,” “Be Kind” and “Show Love.” The restaurant also incorporated local artists to detail the floor with quote hidden in patterns, saying “Keep Going” and “You’re Almost There.” The restaurant is simple with wooden tables and grey walls, but there are also very unique aspects that are hidden in plain sight, such as their tube-shaped light bulbs and their “Good Vibes Only” pink neon light on the wall above the door. On Saturday, August 11, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen opened its doors to nearly 250 people and the lines have been out of the door since.

“The love and support that we have gotten from the community is overwhelming. Many of our investors were local friends and everyone in the community has been so supportive,” said Hagos. “We’re in great company too. We’re just another option. There’s still great food around here, but we want to add to that.”

Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen finds a home in a hidden walkway near Slauson and Overhill. Photo Credit: Ed Rudolph

Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen is also available to rent for community events and plans on starting events of their own, including networking mixers and a farmers market. For more information about the coffeeshop, visit www.findyourhilltop.com and find the restaurant on social media @FindYourHilltop. Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen is located at 4427 W Slauson Ave.

Categories: Crenshaw & Around
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