Popping up with Blank Face

Jeremy Gonzalez started his coffee brewing pop-up, Blank Face, during the height of the 2020 pandemic, a time where most might advise against starting a new business. However, fueled by his passion for the artful craft of coffee, and bolstered by the help of his local community of friends and fellow business owners, Gonzalez has built a coffee destination that is worth seeking out. In talking with him, it’s clear to see that the vision for Blank Face has come to life, and that we’ll be seeing much more from him in the future as well. 

Nice to meet you Jeremy! We’d love to know more about where you’re located, and how you first got interested in the world of coffee?  

Hey, how’s it going! I’m currently located in Santa Clarita CA, the outskirts of Los Angeles. Where do I start! Los Angeles has some of the most amazing coffee shops. Where I got my inspiration was in the summer of 2016 at Eightfold Coffee in Echo Park. That was the shop that really showed the beauty of crafting coffee. 

Can you tell us more about your business, Blank Face, and how it came to be?

Blank Face Coffee came to be in the fall of 2020. It'd been a few months since quarantine, where a lot of things in life were put on hold, and I was just stuck in a place where I didn’t know where my future in coffee stood anymore. But, by the end of the summer that’s when the idea of Blank Face Coffee came into fruition.

Describe the energy and feeling of your first pop-up! What did it feel like going in versus coming out at the end of the day? 

Man, the energy of my first pop-up going in was a mixture of major anxiety and joy. I had everything prepared and packed up the night before -- the restaurant I worked for was kind enough to allow me to host my first pop up on their front patio. But, when the time finally came, the outcome of that day was beyond amazing, and the amount of support I received was surreal.

Why did you choose to partner with Sey Coffee, and what do you like about brewing their offerings in particular? Who are some of the other individuals and businesses you partner with to make Blank Face happen?

Well, the coffee shop I worked for previously served Sey’s coffee from time to time. The more I tasted their coffee, the more I grew in love with it. I had the pleasure of visiting their main store before the pandemic in Brooklyn, where they served an amazing pour over and cappuccino. They always have a great menu of coffees to choose from, and they are very detailed when it comes to showcasing their coffees by providing in-depth details about the story of the coffees. 

The people I had the honor of working with in making Blank Face happen were first my friends at Dayglow in Los Angeles who helped me prepare for the first pop up, and second my friend Meg Skop from Oatly who went out of her way to send me a full months worth of oat milk to get me fully stocked for the first few pop ups.

How often do you hope to host pop-ups, and how do you choose the locations you host them at? 

I like to do them at least once every other week in North Hollywood, and I also try to pop up at events or flea markets when I can. Thankfully for the first few months my previous job allowed me to use their parking lot to host my pop-ups.

Who designs your logo and graphics, and how did you come up with the aesthetic of Blank Face? 

My friend Jarod Vitug from Dayglow Coffee. Absolutely amazing artist who really had a creative mindset going into the graphics for Blank Face, and created some amazing designs for social and merch. The whole aesthetic for Blank Face is very minimal and music inspired.

What does your brewing set up look like at Blank Face pop-ups? How do you keep yourself organized as things get bustling and busy? 

It’s a very simple setup with just my pour over, scale, my grinder, and electric kettle on one side of the table. I stay focused and take one step at a time when I’m preparing a cup for a customer.

When you’re not “popping up” and brewing coffee for others, what is your ideal at home coffee routine? Do you have a favorite cafe to frequent when you’d rather have someone else make a coffee for you? 

My home brewing is where all the magic happens for the pop-up. I use my time at home to perfect the same brew methods I use for Blank Face. My go-to for brewing is the fellow Stagg dripper. When I’m not brewing my favorite coffee at home, my go-to cafe is Endorffiene.

What’s your dream for the future of Blank Face? How would you like to see your business change and/or grow in 2021? 

Definitely would love to open a shop here in the city of San Fernando, CA in the next few years. My goal for the rest of 2021 is to continue getting Blank Face more known within the community, and continue to grow as a person into the business.

Instagram: @blankfacecoffee