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BY Abu Mubarik, 6:42pm March 14, 2023,

Actress and producer Issa Rae celebrates the opening of her fourth coffee shop in L.A.

Issa Rae. Photo Essence.

Issa Rae is already a Hollywood household name, well known for her role in the hit HBO series, ‘Insecure.’ In recent years, she has reinvented herself as a coffee entrepreneur, and recently celebrated opening her fourth coffee shop in Downtown Los Angeles called Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen. The other three are based in Slauson, Inglewood, and Eagle Rock. 

“Downtown LA has such a rich history of creativity and resilience,” Rae said in an interview with Forbes. “We are excited to share the Hilltop experience with the dreamers and doers of the local community.”

According to Forbes, Hilltop Coffee+ Kitchen’s menu will include “Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich (fried egg, cheddar cheese, bacon and spicy mayo on a brioche bun), the Soul Bowl (creamy grits topped with a poached egg, braised collard greens, and charred corn), plus Hilltop “Droptops”, fancy toasts topped with ingredients like smashed avocado and shaved fennel or dill cream cheese, crispy capers and smoked salmon. Signature drinks include the Matcha Chata, an iced matcha latte and horchata hybrid; a lavender latte, plus locally roasted coffees.”

Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen was first started in 2018 by Yonnie Hagos and Ajay Relan in Windsor Hills with the idea to create a conducive environment to foster inclusivity and connection over food and drinks. Rae partnered with them to open Hilltop’s flagship location in Downtown Inglewood in 2019, and a third location on Eagle Rock Blvd the following year.

Venturing into the coffee space is one of the many businesses Rae is engaged in. She owns a production company called Hoorea, and Sienna Naturals – a hair brand firm born out of the need to provide sustainable vegan hair. She also has partnership deals with American Express and their ByBlack initiative.

In a 2022 report by Cheatsheet, Rae said her vision for becoming a coffee entrepreneur is to showcase Inglewood and greater South LA as a thriving socio-economic region diverse in its ethnic makeup. Although the black community in LA has experienced rapid gentrification, she says she hopes to help the area’s Black community thrive. 

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 15, 2023


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