I caught up with Elixr’s owner (also featured in the video) Evan Inatome to get his take on being an entrepreneur and the Philly coffee scene.
On what advice he’d give to young entrepreneurs
“People say I speak with a lot of passion about coffee and I think that helps to sell the product. I completely believe that we’re trying really hard to do better […] we’re trying hard to be our best. When your customer actually believes that you’re trying to give them the best […] That passion it’s kind of addictive, people wanna be around people with passion, people wanna buy coffee (or whatever it may be) from someone that’s passionate about it.
As long as you’re young you might as well try something, the worst that can happen is that you lose the little money that you had. And the best that can happen is that you start something big.”
On the close relationship between the Philly coffee shops
“[When] Bodhi had just opened, I was hanging out a lot there, they’ve become my good friends, friendship-wise they’re our closest ally I guess you would say. We’re so close to Spruce Street, we’ll borrow cups from them, they’ll borrow coffee from us. Same thing, we’ll borrow chocolate from Ultimo. The other thing with Philly is almost everybody […] is Counter Culture, and then you have Bodhi with Stumptown. Spruce St does the clevers; our method we do the Chemexes, Shot Tower has La Strada, a sweet machine. If I had more time I’d hang out in all those places. Everyone has each other’s back. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed and it really is close, there is enough room for everyone to succeed. Everyone needs to up their game, including us. Keep moving that bar, keep doing experiments.”
On what’s next for him and Elixr
“I think now’s a pretty big time to be in coffee, I wanna get as big as we can in the next few years so we can be a player in coffee; and then I wanna use that to do cooler things. Like, right now we’re partnering with this non-profit that essentially consults inner city kids about college, and tries to get them into college. This organization is called 12+, one thing that we’re gonna do is help them start off ‘cause they’re a small company. We’re gonna match donations up to a $1000 for this charity.
I’m certainly not trying to get rich, I’m trying to build bigger things.”
If you’re in Philly tonight, stop by Elixr for the Philly TNT-a barista competition-starting at 8 pm! 15th & Walnut St.