LOS ANGELES — Brewing up your own business only to see a pandemic come one month later is a major challenge. But Joshua Mock took it all in stride. Now as the owner of Little Amsterdam Coffee, he and the community are focused on healing the virus of racism. He hopes he can be a shining example of a successful black business man.
“People – they don’t really get what you say. They get what you do,” Mock said. “So by me getting up every day, staying persistent, working hard at this, especially through COVID times – I definitely want to make sure they see my story, see my hard work ethic and they model that, mimic that, and make it better.”
He opened the coffee shop less than five months ago. His diverse staff filled with people from the community.
It’s leading to important discussions about the fight for equal justice in Los Angeles and across America right now.
“I have to continually consider where I’m benefitting from my privilege and where I can be a part of changing the systemic racism that is all around us,” one customer said. “So it’s really important to me to support the black-owned businesses and the local ones, especially my neighborhood.”
As a black business owner Mock is helping support others by displaying art from people of color all over his shop.
“It’s not something that we just get up and say ‘Oh, we’re just gonna make a quick buck,’" he said. "I mean this is something we love to do.”
Mock said he believes this is just the start of his entrepreneurship.
“I really don’t link being called a small business or a 'mom and pop' — no disrespect,” Mock said. "I think big and I want my kids to think big. I want the youth around me to think big. There’s a big world out there.”
And in these times where divisions could tear many apart, he’s hoping Little Amsterdam Coffee is an example of what society can really be.