“It’s kind of a playground for other people’s creativity.”
JoEllen Depakakibo, Owner of Pinhole Coffee
Pinhole Coffee, opened in 2014, is owned and operated by JoEllen Depakakibo. JoEllen has worked with some of the biggest names in the coffee industry. From working as a Chicago barista through Intelligentsia, to developing some of backstage skills through Blue Bottle, she keeps Pinhole’s aims squarely upon the things that make the café experience special: connecting, sharing, and supporting. Metric has grown along a similar track, and we honored to have a partner across the nation who appreciates the human element.
“I really just wanted to open up something that brought a community together and host other people’s creations,” says JoEllen.
Pinhole is a space where the neighborhood swirls in, sips coffee, and enjoys one other’s company. Without the distraction of Wi-Fi, the space encourages the kind of human interaction all but lost in many coffee shops. Bernal Heights residents who have lived in the lofty neighborhood of San Francisco since the 1950s mingle with new families, all welcomed into a comfortable, artistic space hosting a range of good coffee.
“Seeing the community interact…really seeing that vortex of connection is probably my favorite part,” says JoEllen.
Currently, the coffee element comprises of Verve for espresso, Linea for drip, and Metric Coffee in the rotation for the pour over option. Quality coffee seems to be a strong focus of Pinhole Coffee, but good people represent the beating heart of the business.
“I feel like I have a very caring team of people,” says JoEllen, “I feel like they really do understand our intention and they’re a part of that passion. A lot of them are artists and students, so they understand our intention of having a creative space.”
Pinhole opens itself to unique, community-inspired events like highlighting the rotating artist in a meet and greet, featuring local musicians, and hosting a Japanese Curry and Ceremonial Matcha event. San Francisco’s Leah Rosenberg brought to life a wall of multi-colored slats that casts a rainbow over the space, and a mural created by Chicago artist and brother of JoEllen, Joey D. fills out another side of Pinhole. The space is infused with art and the artistic alike.
There is something beautiful about Chicago’s Metric Coffee being featured in San Francisco’s Pinhole Coffee, and it is easy to take for granted because it is one of many examples of coffee being a fiber of the thread of humanity. But the things we have in common should never stop amazing us. Even if it is a simple cup of coffee.