Cuban family behind major coffee brands opens 1st brick-and-mortar in downtown Los Angeles

ByJovana Lara and Jessica Dominguez via KABC logo
Sunday, July 8, 2018
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The family-owned company behind some of the biggest coffee brands in the U.S. opens its first brick-and-mortar store in downtown Los Angeles.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Gaviñas are a Cuban immigrant family that's kept Los Angeles caffeinated for half a century with their iconic coffee brands, like Don Francisco's, Cafe la Lllave and Jose's Gourmet.

The company behind the roasted beans, F. Gaviña and Sons, started brewing in L.A. in 1967, and now in honor of their 50th anniversary -- they're starting a new chapter in their family history!

"Welcome to Don Francisco's Casa Cubana. This is my family's first brick-and-mortar coffee shop right here in the heart of downtown L.A.," Lisette Gaviña Lopez said. "My grandfather was born on a coffee plantation, that's where he learned about cultivating coffee, growing coffee."

Casa Cubana is their latest venture in a rich story that began in Cuba 150 years ago. The Cuban Revolution forced them to leave everything in their homeland behind. The Gaviñas fled to Spain and although they hoped to return to Cuba someday, they headed to Los Angeles instead.

"My grandparents came here with very little, but they were able to create a business and build a life, not only for themselves, but for their children. Gaviña is multi-generational family business," Lisette said.

Now the family business encompasses four generations. Photos of the family's early days as coffee roasters in L.A. are showcased in their new cafe.

Representing the family's fourth generation, Michael Gaviña is very much involved in the business. We asked him about the secret to their success.

"Passion for what we do is a big one. Another one is quality. We pay very much attention to the beans that we roast, not only how we roast, but how we grind," he said.

The café serves up the family's most popular brews and roasts micro-lot coffee beans sourced exclusively from Colombia for Casa Cubana. And to top it off, there's also fresh bread, pastries and Cuban food from family recipes that won't disappoint.

For this immigrant family who has realized the American dream, continuing to add jobs and grow the local economy makes them proud Angelenos.

Check out their website at