A couple weeks ago I went to Trouble Coffee, at their location in West Oakland.
I had been to their flagship shop in the Sunset district many times, but this was my first time visiting their West Oakland location since it opened in 2015. I was blown away by the space.
The interior design is very modern and minimalistic. And very white. There's a long counter when you walk in, in front of a cubby hole wall ever so lightly adorned with knick-knacks, including a couple horse figures, a tambourine, and an issue of the Whole Earth Catalogue.
There's a large square solid white coffee table on the left side of the space, surrounded on two sides by a white benched seating area extending from the wall.
And that's pretty much it.
They were playing Marquee Moon by Television when I was there.
Trouble Coffee has three locations now. And I think Giulietta Carrelli, its owner and founder, has created something very cool. Some people may take issue with what they say is the "$5 toast" craze it popularized, or scoff at its so-called hipster aesthetic.
But you can't deny that the place has a feel and identity of its own. It's not just another cookie cutter cafe. It was created because Carrelli saw a way to channel her own energies and experiences into making something of her own, doing it her way, and sharing it with others. And she kept going with it. I think that's pretty inspiring.