“Have you ever gone on Craigslist looking for an espresso machine and ended up buying a coffee shop?” That’s what Melissa Villanueva, owner of Brewpoint Coffee, joked about when asked to explain how she opened her first coffee shop. In episode 11 of Zora Talks, Melissa recounted the story of her journey to starting a coffee shop.

After quitting her corporate job to find something she was more passionate about, Melissa went on a community service trip to the Philippines. During her time away, she got the vision to start a community. After coming back to the US, Melissa knew her next step was starting a coffee shop. With the help of her husband, Angelo Sepulveda, she found a location off of Craigslist and got to work.

Now Melissa has three shops in Elmhurst, a roastery, a Brewpoint Coffee app, and a book. During this episode, we had a conversation about her company’s mission to create a fair and thoughtful system that positively impacts those who work for her, the community, and the environment. We also talked about the ways that Melissa hopes to assist aspiring coffee shop owners in starting their venture.

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