Boba and coffee shop opens during pandemic and thrives despite challenges

A family business in Gardena opened during the pandemic and overcame many challenges.

Ashley Mackey Image
Friday, February 26, 2021
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A family business in Gardena opened during the pandemic and overcame many challenges.

GARDENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Three brothers, Tyler, Cody and Kyle Nakazaki opened up Cafe Pruvia in Gardena in May 2020.

"It was a month after they had just rolled out the first lockdowns," Tyler Nakazaki said.

Tyler and Cody said they both love boba and coffee, but there wasn't a place in their area that focused on providing both of those items.

"We just want place to hang out and get some boba, some coffee or whatever," Cody Nakazaki said. "Play some board games and I think that was one thing that was kind of lacking."

Cafe Pruvia they said they're keeping their menu specific in order to cater to both coffee lovers as well as boba enthusiasts.

Since none of the brothers had ever owned a business before, it was a steep learning curve.

"It's fun continuing having to adjust to different conditions or different challenges that we face," Cody Nakazaki said. "But yeah, it's tough, but it's rewarding."

The family also had to be mindful for health reasons. Tyler Nakazaki was born with a congenital heart defect and he says he had three open heart surgeries by the time he was5 years old.

This made the Nakazaki family more cautious when it came to finally opening their business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We just tried to figure out practical ways that we could distance ourselves, practice social distancing, keep things clean," Tyler Nakazaki said. "We try to keep our customers to a certain distance from us, with the plexiglass and everything."

"When we were ready to open, the pandemic started," said Faye Nakazaki, mother of the three brothers. "And I said no, we're not going to open because he's high risk."

In order to make sure there was little contact in the shop, the family decided not to hire new workers. Instead their mom and dad helped them by working in the café.

Now that they've been open for nearly a year, they've felt the support of the community and hope to continue to extend their reach.

"What I've always kind of told myself is that, whether I was born normal and healthy or not born normal and healthy, none of us have any promise with tomorrow," Tyler Nakazaki said. "We just got to keep, doing what we love and like pouring our life into the passions that we enjoy and for us it's always kind of been business."

Café Pruvia is located at 1610 W. Redondo Beach Blvd #11, Gardena, CA 90247.

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