L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

Benjamin Westley (left), owner of Boketto Cold Brews, an artisan tea and coffee catering service for corporate clients based in Downtown L.A.
In 2017, Benjamin Westley was working in Downtown Los Angeles as a doorman when the building's owner mentioned that he'd like to attract more upscale office users. Westley saw an opportunity to fill a void. Thus, Boketto Cold Brews was established.

What started as one customer and an office lobby barista service has grown to include an artisan tea and coffee catering service for corporate clients such as Wolfgang Puck, CoStar Group, Activision, CBRE, and Calamigos Ranch. The owner has teamed up with some of North America's best coffee roasters to ensure that all Boketto products come from only fresh, sustainably farmed sources.

Boketto Cold Brews is one of the Southeast BusinessSource Center's first clients. Loan Consultant Ronald Lowe identified and matched Westley with a Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) lender and Inclusive Action for the City, specializing in lending to micro businesses and street vendors. Lowe guided the entire loan process from start to finish, resulting in loan approval. The funding allowed the company to purchase a Brew Bomb, one of the leading manufacturers of equipment for cold brew processing. The increased capacity also allowed the company to add one employee.

Boketto features several flavorful coffees and teas, including Dark Single Ethiopian Cold Brew and a Medium Roast with a Guatemalan and Brazilian Cold Brew blend. Their product line also includes cold brew wellness teas, including hibiscus with natural fruits and herbs, and the best-selling OMG!, an orange, mango, ginger and hibiscus blend tea.

Boketto Cold Brews also offers beverages in 12-ounce bottles, 1.5-liter recyclable pouches by subscription, and nitro kegs.

As a black-owned business, Boketto supports women and minority artisans and entrepreneurs and features an assortment of their work art, clothing and merchandise at their alternating pop-up shops. You can also catch their cold brew bike on the streets of downtown L.A. or at various events around greater Los Angeles.

EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers offer resources to microenterprises, small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the City of Los Angeles. These efforts work to revitalize the local economy by helping business owners launch viable businesses, grow revenue streams, and stabilize and create jobs. Visit EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers and learn how EWDD's Business Services can help businesses of all sizes.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of March 27, 2023. Read this issue and more.