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Local coffee shop's business takes off after TikTok success

Local coffee shop's business takes off after TikTok success.png
Posted at 4:56 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 20:54:35-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — "I have always wanted to have my own coffee shop with girls that I love working with, on the beach, so here we are!"

It's a dream that Jewell Harloff has had since she was 16 years old.

You may have seen it. A small coffee shop by the name of "Kini Koffee" is right in the heart of the Del Mar Plaza.

They have survived through the pandemic, and it's not just because of the one-of-a-kind drinks that have kept them afloat, but baristas who have used social media to have business booming beyond San Diego.

"I woke up one morning, and I was like 'Oh, we gotta make that!'" recalls Harloff, as she makes a customer's coffee.

If you are looking for a treat that tastes just as good as it looks, look no further than right in the heart of Del Mar.

"I just wanted to create an atmosphere where we just had girlfriends working together, supporting each other, making delicious coffee," explains Harloff.

Harloff had a longtime dream of creating a female-owned and operated coffee shop. She left her job in 2019 and started selling her Kini Koffee concoctions all over San Diego at various pop-ups.

At the height of the pandemic in December of 2020, she opened the storefront of Kini Koffee in Del Mar.

"Luckily people felt very safe coming into this outdoor space and everything changed," shares Harloff.

Jewell says that their set-up, of a small shack with a window storefront, helped their team of four stays afloat. But they would soon find out that their coffee could do more.

"I actually had two friends that sent me their video," explains Emma Clark. "And it was their first video that got over 500,000 views…"

Clark found Kini Koffee through TikTok. She has 15,000 followers herself. When she got hired by the coffee shop, six months after being a fan, she knew what a little bit of planning, posing, and posting could do for the small business.

“Because it’s such a unique vibe and being able to create content that really highlights that," Clark shares. "And send it out and have girls send it to their friends, it creates a really cool, 'I want to be in on that kinda thing, and I want to experience that.'”

Currently, the shop's menu serves traditional lattes and macchiatos, but also their one of kind concoctions, many of which are created for the first time on social media.

"I would never in a million years thought I am going to put this on TikTok and it's going to blow up," says Harloff. "But my baristas did! And they are so creative with it, they are so amazing, and people just love to watch it."

In April of 2021, Jewell opened a drive-through Kini Koffee location in Encinitas. She states it would not have been possible without their more than 33,000 followers.

“People have driven here from Sacramento, Sacramento, New Mexico, Washington," she emphasizes. "We have seen people from Chicago coming in from TikTok!”

"It's such a huge blessing," she emphasizes. "I am so thankful, I can't even describe!"

Harloff hopes to continue creating and serving for years to come.

Kini Koffee's two locations are open seven days a week.

The Del Mar location is open Monday-Wednesday, 10 am-4 pm and Thursday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm.

The Encinitas Drive-Through location is open weekdays 7 am-12:30 pm and weekends 7 am-noon.