Meow is the time to get those tails wagging
Our residents often say that they chose Inspirada in part because of the strong sense of community. One resident, Gilbert Zhang, has been working hard to build a place where neighbors and friends can gather. Last November, he opened Jolly Beans Cafe, a coffee and tea shop with freshly baked goods, sandwiches, and treats, including vegetarian/vegan options.
Jolly Beans has especially been a hit with Inspirada residents. “Over 60% of (our customers) are from this neighborhood,” Zhang said. “Before we opened, we knew that we needed to make sure we had good service and be very very friendly to our customers here.”
Jolly Beans Cafe has become a community gathering place of sorts, with extended hours from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day. “When customers come home, they can still drop by and get a drink on the way, as they walk their dogs,” he said.
Dogs are popular among his coffee customers—often treated like members of the family. That’s why Zhang decided to open Central Bark Pet Supplies, a boutique dog food and accessory store, right next to Jolly Beans Café in Solista Park. He says he was inspired to do so when he realized how picky his dogs were.
“We have two big dogs and we were trying to find good quality products for them,” he said. Zhang originally hoped for the store to contain a self-grooming station where customers could groom their pets, but space wouldn’t allow for that. For now, it’s high-quality dog and cat food, accessories, and customized treats. And, to show commitment to the Inspirada community, Zhang is offering a special deal for residents.
“We’ve been creating a loyalty program for everybody living in this community,” he said. Any Inspirada resident gets a 10% discount, and if they sign up for the free loyalty program and make four purchases annually, they receive a 15% discount. They are even working on a delivery program for frequent Inspirada pet food shoppers. “We try to provide very good service, very good pricing, and very good product,” Zhang said.
It’s that commitment to the Inspirada community that makes Zhang’s businesses stand out. “We want everyone to see us as a neighborhood store, where they can get together with friends and chat or hang out after dinner, or for brunch. I told all my employees to treat their customers like real neighbors,” he said.
Stop by Jolly Beans and Central Bark in Solista Park with your family and friends to support local Inspirada business. Whether it’s for coffee or quality pet supplies, it’s the perfect excuse to make new friends, furry or otherwise!
For more information, including hours and specials, follow Central Bark’s Facebook page.