Shop Spotlight: Neat Coffee

Shop Spotlight: Neat Coffee

On this installment of Daydream's Shop Spotlight, we'll be talking about Ally Garvin and her space, Neat Coffee!  Neat is located on 19th and Pomona in the heart of Westside Costa Mesa, a neighborhood in need of good coffee and a communal space. 

In Ally's cute little space, she serves up excellent coffee roasted by Arcade in Riverside, CA and features other great roasters which are rotated quarterly. Their menu consists of the standard specialty coffee choices and few Neat specials. Ally creates a seasonal syrup of the month that features ingredients prominent for the time of year. So far, her creations consist of blueberry basil mint, apple sage, juniper rose, tangerine cardamom and plum cardamom. While each of these sound magnificent, our favorite Neat specialty has got to be the Coffee Soda. Shake some coffee concentrate, mint, cardamom, sugar and lime and pour it over some sparkling water. That thing is so refreshing and crushable, perfect for the last blazing weeks of summer.

On the food side of things, Chef Ashlee is holding it down. There's a super tasty granola bowl but the stars have got to be her toasts. Their avocado toast is anything but standard. Top with a slew of crunchy greens and an optional 7-minute egg, its savory, crunchy and refreshing. The pan con tomate is a hearty tomato puree drizzled in olive oil, perfect for an early lunch. Lastly, the jam toast is a light post-breakfast snack to get you through the morning. The food won't stop here, though. With plans to build out the backyard into a chill patio area comes a menu expansion into more developed lunch items. Stay tuned!

Ally and Neat are are on the up and up now with only more good things to come but this all started from humble beginnings with challenges and hardship along the way. Ally initially fell in love while working with a non-profit in Uganda. While at a coffee farm, she discovered the beauty of coffee at its origin. The lifeblood of a community a world away from her own yet so ingrained in the daily habits of home. She returned to Costa Mesa with dreams of creating her own coffee shop for her community.

It was around 2010 and the only real specialty coffee in the area was Portola. At the time, a bastion for creation but also often inaccessible to those on the outside. Ally decided to start at Peet's and later Sidecar with the goals of attaining more coffee knowledge as well as business experience. After gaining all she could from these places, Neat was the next step. It started as a pop-up and ran for 2 1/2 years in an office building off Red Hill Avenue. Over time, the community around Neat grew and when she was forced to close the pop-up, Ally felt an obligation to the community to make Neat a permanent institution. It took some time, but in April of 2019, Neat came out guns-a-blazin' with a new team built mostly of former customers and a new spot in a prime zone. 

Ally's coffee background is different than most of the Orange County coffee professionals. They all came from Theorem with a pedigree for success in the industry. She didn't have the resume or years of experience, but she had a drive to create a welcoming space for people in her neighborhood. She'd get the rest of the knowledge along the way. She admitted to us that she doesn't know what she's doing running a business in this industry but took the chance and bet on herself to succeed. 

Ally's favorite thing about what she does is serving food and drinks to the her neighbors. She created Neat with the sole intention of fostering community and we couldn't be more thankful. Neat is a perfect addition to the family of specialty coffee that has grown here in Orange County. We can't wait to see where she goes. We're sure it'll be real Neat ;)

Photography by Tianna Ellis

Story by Jason Ferrall

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Field Notes 05

Field Notes 05

Welcome to our fifth Field Notes featuring footage from our last surfboard demo with Gato Heroi and Deepest Reaches. While the waves weren't the greatest, we had an awesome time playing around with thirty plus boards hand shaped by Robin Kegel of Gato Heroi and Kyle Albers of Deepest Reaches. A slew of shredders joined us on this day to wield a blade of discovery. A special thanks to Bradford Walters for bringing down a school bus full of Gato's as well as being the director of the musical jam session that we ended up using for this edit. Also, thank you to Summerland, Mary Joe, and Old Pal for all the goodies one could ever hope for. Lastly, thanks everyone who made it out for the demo, we hope you had a great time and enjoyed talking to the shapers of the boards that were available to demo. We look forward to hosting many more demos in the future! See you next time. 

Music by Bradford Walters and Friends
Filmed and edited by Jack Coleman
Photograph by Jordan Minardi

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Field Notes 04

Field Notes 04

Welcome to episode four of our short film series, Field Notes, where we get to see some of the sleds, shapers, and shredders that we work with at the Daydream Research Center in action. In this video, we're excited to share with you some great surfing by a talented friend of the shop Ari Browne starring as our Australian Research Assistant. Browne is a very talented young surfer who displays his diverse talents well in this video as he trades off between two very different surf crafts by folks we work closely with at the Daydream Research Center - Ryan Lovelace and Liddle Surfboards.

Browne starts the film off on his 5'6" Lovelace Rabbits Foot which is a high performance, asymmetrical, finless marvel that allows him to slide virtually friction free without any drag from a fin. Finless boards can be challenging for some but not for Browne, he displays a cunning agility and is able to plot his course across the wave while balancing flowing turns in critical sections of the face.

The final board in the short is one near and dear to the Daydream Research Center, a 7'0" Liddle Point Breaker. Check out our recent Case Study we did on Greg Liddle Surfboards for a deeper dive behind these beautiful pieces of functional art. Long story short, these boards are all about speed and trim. Browne knows right where to set his rail to deliver that lovely effortless trim we all know and love about Liddle Surfboards. 

A special thank you to Jack Coleman for making the trip down to Australia and capturing such stylish surfing from one of our favorite Australian shredders who's one of the front runners of finless shredding not to mention an all around great, friendly character. Lastly, thank you to Ryan Lovelace for shaping such interesting crafts that break the mold of what surfboards should be as well as the crew behind Liddle Surfboards - Kirk Putnam and Scott Anderson - for carrying on the incredible work that Greg Liddle developed. 

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Inspiration

Inspiration: Adam Green's Aladdin

Our friend, Levi Prairie, has been dabbling with some rad animation lately. This film from Adam Green was really inspiring to Levi so he showed it to us and man... this is really something great to watch. There is some explicit content so please be advised. We hope to see people making more work like this in the near future. 

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See You On Sunday: Game Night

See You On Sunday: Game Night

Join us at Daydream on Saturday, June 22nd for Game Night hosted by Isaac Rochell of the LA Chargers and founder of the organization #seeyouonsunday! We'll be celebrating the ethos of See You On Sunday as we bask in an uninterrupted, phone free environment, mingle, and enjoy some old school fun through board games. This board game social is a fun way for folks to get together to raise awareness around our attachment to smart phone devices and social media in an effort to promote healthy use of these new yet well integrated technologies. A shout out to Yondr for helping us create this phone free environment! Space is limited for Game Night at Daydream so please RSVP while you can here.

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