For how much of a fixture Eyes Peeled has become of their community, you'd find it hard to believe that they'd opened their doors less than six months ago. From their Saturday hangouts, where the team brewed coffee by hand in front of their under-construction shop, to now, where they serve guests lined up out their door onto the street with care and attention, we're so honored to get to be a part of their journey.
One of the things that we admire most from Eyes Peeled is their alignment to ours in our mission of making coffee fun! Since the beginning of Eyes Peeled serving drinks on the sidewalk in front of the shop, the team have been developing thoughtful and delicious drinks, such as their eponymous "Georgia On My Mind" (or simply "Georgia" at this point to many of their regulars), a combination of iced coffee, oat milk, vanilla syrup, and orange zest.
The team at Eyes Peeled have a mission of inspiring curiosity, both for themselves and for their guests. We've been so inspired by seeing how they constantly innovate and look for ways to improve their coffee service or their guest experience, as well as bringing on exciting coffees and sharing them with their guests. On a most recent visit, it was so fun to hear their guests sharing about how delicious our Elida Estate or Benjamin Paz Geisha were tasting.
Left: Sinan pouring filter coffee for a guest / Right: Joselyn, shift lead at Eyes Peeled
The delightful guest experience extends beyond coffee service to their food offerings, led by Chef Preston, including two avocado toasts - one classic, one elevated with furikake and a perfectly jammy egg. Other hits include bacon biscuits with egg and cheese, as well as acai bowls and grain bowls for all day bites.
Eyes Peeled has centered their community in all that they do, from making connections with regulars (and their dogs) since their Saturday hangout popups, to working with their next-door neighbors at Letterpress Chocolate, The Plum Dahlia for floral arrangements, and hosting a popup with The Plant Man P.
Left: The retail shelf at Eyes Peeled / Right: Collaboration with Jerrilyn and Jon of Plant Man P
I feel lucky every time I get to visit the team here, whether on a work visit or when I'm just in the area. Anytime we have friends that visit Eyes Peeled, they've always reached out to us to say how wonderful their experience was, which is usually shortly followed up by a text from Gavy saying how fun it was to get to serve them!
On my most recent visit, I got to train with one of Eyes Peeled's newest baristas and taste some coffees with Gavy and Esther. Before jumping behind the bar, Gavy and I sat down to chat for a bit about his experience opening Eyes Peeled with his partners, what motivates him, and what excites him.
Describe your perfect morning coffee ritual.
I usually just get myself a cup of coffee. We switch out the coffees we’re brewing on drip at the shop here pretty frequently. Whenever we see new coffees from Dune, we get excited to try them and brew them with our guests.
What is something that motivates you?
My biggest motivation is to prove something to myself, to others around me. As an immigrant from Indonesia, with family still in Indonesia, I want to provide a better future for myself and for my future family. Moving to the United States, there were times when I felt like an underdog, when it was not as easy for me to get access to things. I want to make sure that I can excel and succeed along my peers. Ever since I was young, I always wanted to work harder than others, because I believed that I wasn’t as talented as others, and by working harder, I could achieve the same things as those around.
My friends and coworkers have many similar stories, from working in other cafes or kitchens. Sinan and Peter (Gavy's partners at Eyes Peeled) are very similar; any time we are faced with adversity, we all know that we’re not going to give up - we’re going to push through it. I’m really proud of this approach of ours, and our journey to get to where we are.
Who is someone you look up to?
I really look up to my coworkers, both present and past. When I used to work in a back of house capacity, I was working multiple jobs, same as everyone else in the kitchen. They never complained - their attitude towards life is consistent, upbeat, positive. I really appreciated my time working together with all of my coworkers.
What are some of your memorable coffee experiences?
When we visited Dune most recently, there was one particular espresso of Segundo Natural that we tried together that has been one of my favorite coffees ever. I rarely remember the particular coffees that I’ve tried with my friends, but the most enjoyable aspect is the friends I was with when we were studying in different coffee shops. I have a soft spot for Mantra Coffee in Azusa, where my friends and I would stay late to study.
Do you have any upcoming menu offerings you're excited about?
We’re working on this new item (Gavy runs behind the counter to get the ingredients) that Chef Preston and I have been working on. We were talking about pies (Banoffee), dulce de leche, bananas, chocolate, and how hard it is to find this pie around. We started working on a drink that incorporates these flavors, using Letterpress Chocolate from right next door. I’ve always wanted to have a signature drink on the menu that uses their chocolate, so this season - I don’t know what it’s going to be called yet, I’ll tell you when I know - has been a fun way to work with Chef Preston’s experience, local ingredients, and to create something really tasty for our guests.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Eyes Peeled (@eyespeeledcoffee) is open at 2839 S Robertson Blvd in Los Angeles, CA, 7 AM to 4 PM daily.
I feel that Eyes Peeled, our shop, our growth - we’re very lucky for Dune, for Chef Preston, we’ve gotten very lucky to meet people that have given us so much to grow as a business. I'm very grateful for Esther and for Joselyn, it’s hard to imagine Eyes Peeled without them, and I wouldn’t know how we would end up otherwise. We’re so grateful to get to share this journey with you and the people around us.