Retailer Spotlight: Ubuntu Café

Fellippe Esteves and Danielle Soldati are the owners of Ubuntu Café,  a California-inspired all day cafe with global influences, using locally sourced ingredients, located in Long Beach, California. In addition to their breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner menus, they have a grab-and-go retail section. It's there you'll find Pass the Honey's unadulterated honeycomb, among other small batch, artisan, and thoughtfully sourced goods.

We interviewed Fellippe to catch up on Ubuntu's success after opening during the pandemic and learn what inspired their farm to table approach. 

Tell us about yourselves and Ubuntu Café.

Fellippe: Danielle and I have always been in the hospitality industry. I have done consulting work as well, and I always wanted to open a bunch of restaurants. 

Ubuntu is a small café where we bring most of our food from farm to table. That’s the dream. The best breakfast and lunch place. A place where people can come in and gather and be happy. 

Ubuntu emphasizes local, organic and non-GMO ingredients. Why is that important to you? 

Fellippe: I think it should be important to everyone, what we are putting into our bodies and what we are eating. My wife (Danielle) and I, we love food very much. We enjoy gathering and sourcing the best produce we can get and we pass that to our guests. 

If you could have a snack with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Fellippe: It would be my Grandfather. He made a lot of big changes in my life when I was a kid. I enjoyed him very much and I miss him. 

What is the most absurdly good thing that’s happened in the course of your business? Tell us about your biggest win! 

Fellippe: I think the explosive success that we have when we first opened and then throughout the pandemic. We made a lot of good friends with our guests and they love our concept. And they never let us down. I think our success came with the right brand, the right food, and the right neighborhood. We made friends. 

Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs or businesses just starting out in your industry? 

Fellippe: Be resilient. Never stop working. Regardless of what the challenges are, if you don’t keep going, you’re going to give up. But if you keep going, you’re going to fail a few times, but you won’t give up. That’s the way we did it here. We kept going and we never gave up. We kept going. We made a lot of mistakes, but we never gave up. 

What’s next for Ubuntu? What are you most excited about for the future? 

Fellippe: The acceptance of the neighbors within the community and our brand. It’s the growth opportunity and the expansions that we’re planning.

Why did you decide to offer Pass the Honey in Ubuntu’s grab-and-go retail section?

Fellippe: I love, love honey, and I just think that was a great idea. And their mission really fits with our mission. I think it’s a no-brainer. 

If you're in the Long Beach area, be sure to stop by Ubuntu Café for breakfast and grab a box of Pass the Honey on your way out. 

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