Behind the Barista: Isiah Adams
Location: USC Village
Favorite Dulce drink: Short Iced Americano
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
“Pour me a cappuccino.” Isiah pours the blend of espresso, steamed milk and foam milk into a Dulce cup. “You’re hired.”
As an eighteen-year-old senior in Oklahoma, Isiah had his sights set on studying theater and making it big in New York. After finishing his freshman year at NYU, Isiah realized that studying theater wasn’t his passion. With just enough money for a plane ticket, he packed his bags and headed west to the city of stars. Though not too far from LA, Redondo Beach became home for three years. Isiah needed a side job to support his acting career, so he joined his roommate as a fellow barista at a local coffee shop. At the time, Isiah didn’t drink any coffee to avoid the caffeine addiction. He couldn’t resist for much longer and fell in love with the art of specialty coffee, finding serving coffee to be a means of self expression. He wanted to learn more.
Working at this coffee shop in Redondo Beach was not ideal. Checks weren’t paid on time and there wasn’t much motivation or support from coworkers or management. When Isiah’s pastor told him about a job opening at Dulce in Little Tokyo, he jumped on the opportunity.
Isiah poured his first cappuccino for Dulce five years ago and never looked back. After living and acting in Los Angeles for some time now, he’s developed a passion for screenwriting and hopes to one day write an act in his own TV show. Inspired by Donald Glover and his show Atlanta, Isiah strives to create original art house style content that stays true to himself and what he believes in.
Balancing a budding acting career while working long hours at a busy café is no easy routine. Isiah credits much of his success to the incredible support from his Dulce family along with the infectious positivity that no Dulce worker can escape. In his opinion, working at Dulce has given him “an opportunity to learn what it means to be responsible for everything in your life”. Although Isiah would prefer owning a brewery instead of a coffee shop (which he’s been experimenting with for three years now), he’s loved seeing how Café Dulce has blossomed over the years and can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon.