SACHI: The Japanese cafe and shop cultivating community in LA
As we welcome Stella by Common into the Common community and begin to explore Marina del Rey, we’re excited to highlight the area’s diverse local businesses and the hard-working people behind them.
Sisters Sachi and Chiyo, founders of SACHI, had big dreams of opening up a vintage clothing and plant shop in Del Rey, Los Angeles. However as they started out on their entrepreneurial journey, they realized building a local community around their shop was what they were truly passionate about. After setting up a gorgeous cafe at SACHI (with a legendary earl grey lavender latte on the menu), they’ve been able to make their corner of LA feel like a home to their patrons.
We chatted with Sachi, who makes up ½ of the powerful sister duo, about the origin story of her shop and her favorite parts of the Del Rey and surrounding Marina del Rey area.
Hi Sachi! It’s not every day that you find a place as unique as your cafe and shop. How did you and your sister get started?
The name Sachi means happiness in Japanese, which is what we wanted to incorporate into any type of business we founded. Originally, we wanted to focus on operating a vintage clothing and plant shop but soon realized that we could help reach a broader group of people by operating a cafe as well. My sister, Chiyo, has a background in fashion and is specifically interested in upcycling clothing to reduce the environmental impact, and my expertise lies in interior plant design and care. We thought it would be fun to create a space for us to combine our talents into one unique place for people to gather!
How have you worked to create a welcoming atmosphere in your shop?
Whether our customers come for plant care tips, a delicious latte, or a unique vintage tee, our goal is to create a warm place for the community to thrive. For Chiyo and I, we find joy in creating community and making new friends every day; it’s been a treat to see neighbors meet each other for the first time while chatting in our shop. Specifically, by offering coffee, we felt that the warmth of the original coffee shop culture was diminishing and wanted to help revive it.
What changes has your shop made to connect with your customers during COVID-19?
We’ve been lucky enough to have loyal customers that still want to shop and support us during this time! For our cafe, we’ve started to offer all of our loose-leaf concentrates and latte mixes in bulk so that people can enjoy them from the comfort of their own home. All of our cafe items are available for pickup and delivery to local customers in the area. For all of our plant and clothing items, we have been able to schedule pickups or ship them directly to our customers to avoid contact.
What do you love about the Del Rey neighborhood?
Chiyo and I grew up in Northern California and went to college in Southern California. We love the diversity of Del Rey and the greater Marina del Rey area; there’s a mixture of low-income housing, tech-focused professionals, college students, and young families all in the same area. It truly feels like a neighborhood and it’s easy to meet your neighbors by getting involved with local businesses.
My favorite part about owning and running SACHI is that we live and work in the same neighborhood, so our customers are also our neighbors. The area we’re in is also historically Japanese, and our shop used to be an old Japanese nursery. Not only does this feel very authentic to our brand, but the walkable area around our shop allows us to meet new people every day.