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Living : Interview

5 minutes with Russell Beard of Paramount Coffee Project

Mr Porter UK

RUSSELL BEARD PROFILE STORE

Russell Beard at Paramount Coffee Project, Los Angeles, photographed by David Yoo for Oliver Grand. Russell wears

Bassike shirt

If you find yourself walking the quintessential-LA, vibrant streets of Fairfax Avenue, you will most likely notice Paramount Coffee Project. The same is to be said about the equally, architecturally striking Sydney space located in old converted film offices. Paramount Coffee Project was a collaboration between three friends: Russell Beard, Jin Ng and Mark Dundon— and with an experimental approach and love for coffee. After introducing Australia’s hippest coffee to LA’s growing culture, the boys have become something of coffee pioneer’s, known for an exceptional offering of curated drinks and coffee`s from local and international roasters.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO THE BUSINESS OF COFFEE?
It’s all I’ve ever done. I dropped out of university to take coffee more seriously.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN FOUNDATIONS WHICH MAKE UP PCPX’S CULTURE?
It was all based on an idea of collaboration and sharing ideas to create an interesting offering for our guests.

In more recent years I have seen the public in LA increasingly supporting this trend of supporting individual operators who are going out and doing new and exciting things.

WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING?
Coffee keeps things interesting. No day is like the next which suits my personality. It’s a great industry to be part of and I’m really thankful I fell into it.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WEST HOLLYWOOD AS THE FIRST EXPANSION POST?
Fairfax had a village atmosphere close to the markets and Fairfax High, it seemed like a no-brainer to us.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN SELLING COFFEE IN LA TO SYDNEY?
LA culture is changing. It seems to me that, in the past, LA customers would have a strong allegiance to the larger commercial coffee outlets particularly those with chain outlets and strong brand recognition. Australia is typically known for supporting independent operators and I suppose this comes down to our small population size. In Sydney you will see that there are a lot of baristas who gain workplace and business experience in one or more places and then go on to open their own place because they have a strong degree of certainty that they will be supported by the public and will succeed – this also keeps the marketplace evolving and keeps it interesting for everyone. In more recent years I have seen the public in LA increasingly supporting this trend of supporting individual operators who are going out and doing new and exciting things. G&B are a good example of this trend and more recently Destroyer in Culver City is gaining cult status for its offering.

WHAT TYPICALLY, AUSTRALIAN CHARACTERISTICS HAVE YOU INCORPORATED INTO PCPX WEST HOLLYWOOD, IF ANY?
We did a vegemite milkshake! We really didn’t want to be perceived as an Aussie cafe coming to LA. We wanted to create something that we thought was relevant to the local scene without using the green and gold as our draw card. Aussies have been really supportive of us on Fairfax and its nostalgic for them coming in no doubt slightly reminiscent of there haunts back home that they miss. The vegemite shake was a bit of fun and a new take on a classic.

WHAT’S THE FUTURE FOR PARAMOUNT?
We are doing a larger cafe space in the Arts District, LA opening in 2017 and we are doing a hotel adjacent to our original location in Sydney which also opens in 2017.

 

 

Visit Paramount Coffee Project

456 N Fairfax Ave LA 90036 | 80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 | http://www.pcpfx.com/

By Oliver Grand

January 21, 2017

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