Fireside Chat hosts a conversation with Cafe Dulce founder

first_img“We’re not here serving pastries and drinks and food — we serve people,” Choi said. “At the end of the day, the pastries that we make, the drinks that we slave over, the latte art that we pour that we’re proud of … that’s only as important as the person that we’re serving them to.” Choi said that he is primarily motivated by the belief that his hard work will pay off. Along with the support of his family, this belief aided him through the early days of running the cafe. Choi said that at the time, his mother was in remission from ovarian cancer, and neither his mother nor he had any prior experience in the baking industry. Although his mother had a business partner, Choi said the partner dropped out of the project three weeks before opening day, prompting himself to embark on the business venture with his mother. “I think the most important lessons I’ve learned from the speech is that it’s interesting to know that hospitality is the most important thing,” Msei said. “It’s not about the food, but about people and to have passion in the things you do.” “It’s not about the person … It’s not ‘you didn’t do this, or you did this’ … It’s more like the behavior you choose,” Choi said. When he was starting his first cafe in Little Tokyo, Choi said he found that engaging with the surrounding community is a key aspect of running a business. “So I put in my two weeks, left my job for the last time and I’ve been at Dulce since 2010 when I came on board,” Choi said. James Choi, a USC alumnus, opened the first Cafe Dulce in Little Tokyo in 2011. The cafe, which has a branch located in the USC Village, is a popular eatery for students. (Shaylee Navarro/Daily Trojan) Choi said the reason for Dulce’s popularity is its emphasis on hospitality, as the franchise aims to bring about positive change in the community. “The only thing you can do is just put your head down and work,” Choi said. “And I [couldn’t] afford to hire people, so I … physically [had to] do everything that I [could]. So literally from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., everyday for almost two years.” “Because we gave to the community, even though we didn’t have much to give, they were the ones that patronized us during those dark times, during 2011 and 2012 when it was really slow,” Choi said. Spark SC board member Ankur Rastogi, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and computer science, asked Choi how he approaches his staff when they make mistakes. Choi said he tries to coach workers rather than punish them. Choi, who graduated from USC in 2005 with a degree in accounting, worked for the multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young. He then opened up Teuscher Swiss Chocolates in Palo Alto with his mother, eventually creating the first Dulce in Little Tokyo in 2011. Alicia Msei, a graduate student at the Marshall School of Business, said the event helped her realize the importance of incorporating hospitality in businesses. On any given day at USC Village, dozens of people stand patiently outside of Dulce waiting for their caffeine fix. Dulce’s popularity — both at USC and in Los Angeles — can be attributed to its emphasis on hospitality. In an event organized by student entrepreneurship organization Spark SC, Dulce founder and owner James Choi shared how he came to be the mastermind behind one of the most popular local cafes.last_img read more

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Offense responds in big way against OSU

first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team has finally put an end to its two-game losing streak.After dropping matches against Washington and Penn State over the course of the past week, the Badgers defeated Ohio State in three sets Sunday afternoon.According to head coach Kelly Sheffield, losing two games straight has not hurt the Badgers in their pride whatsoever. He said he sees Wisconsin as a strong team and believes that strong teams are able to come back. The Badgers displayed determination and perseverance against the Buckeyes, fighting off several OSU rallies throughout the three-set sweep.Although the match against Ohio State was the first time in the last four matches Wisconsin hasn’t faced off a ranked opponent, Sheffield was confident his team was ready to take on any opponent.“It wouldn’t have mattered who was wearing the uniform on the other side of the net,” Sheffield said. “You totally expect this team to come out and make a statement and I thought that’s what we did that today.”The distribution of hitters made a statement for the Wisconsin offense, helping it get back on the right track. The attackers seemed to be particularly challenging for Ohio State’s defense. The tandem play of Wisconsin’s middle blocker Dominique Thompson and right side hitter Courtney Thomas forced OSU’s back court defense to stay on its toes, as the two Badgers finished the match with a combined 21 kills.“We all were very focused, and we all wanted to get out of this losing streak that we were in,” Thompson said. “We wanted to come out hard today and show everybody what we could actually do.”Due to OSU’s constant substitution and switching between running a 5-1 and a 6-2 offense, Sheffield strategized multiple plays to mix up where Thompson and Thomas hit from along the net in order to throw the Buckeyes off balance.“Part of our game plan was to attack the middle part of the court. Our middles did a really good job today of transitioning hard,” setter Lauren Carlini said. “Courtney [Thomas] also did really well hitting from the middle of the court too.”Throughout the match, Thomas ran a route in which she approached her kills from the middle of the net, while Thompson would simultaneously approach from the right side for a slide shot off a quick back set from Carlini.“Lauren was trying to get the ball to Dom [Thompson] a lot early,” Sheffield said. “We thought we could be successful early at the middle part of the court, not just with her, but we thought that we could get the ball to Court on some second tempo balls in the middle.”That game plan set up was very effective for the Wisconsin’s offense as Thompson swung for 10 kills, while hitting at a .391 clip, and assisted on three blocks by the end of the match. That was an improvement from Thompson’s performance against Penn State where she had only six kills and a .333 hitting percentage.“I think we’ve got players that take pride when things don’t go the way that they want them to in a match,” Sheffield said. “They’re going to make sure that they come back with strength.”This is particularly true for Thomas, Wisconsin’s right side hitter.In Wednesday’s match, Penn State silenced Thomas, who completed the match with only one kill. Sunday, she finished on an entirely different note as she emerged from the match against OSU with 11, the highest amount of kills on either team.“I knew they [Penn State] set up a good block against me. I’m not always going to have a great game,” Thomas said. “If they set up a good block on me, so what, the next game gives me an opportunity to bounce back.”Sunday was an ideal time for the Badgers to bounce back and finish on top, as this win signifies both the end to a losing streak, as well as their first conference win of the season.“It feels good,” Carlini said. “It’s hard to play well against this team, but we executed the game plan well, and came out this week for our first Big Ten win. We’re excited about it.”Wisconsin will travel to Illinois to face off against the Northwestern Wildcats this Wednesday, as the Badgers continue to work their way through a challenging Big Ten schedule with a growing determination and confidence in their play.last_img read more

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Delay hits Gilas return from Iran loss

first_imgVolleybelles off to Thailand for Asian tourney Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Needing to crank up the heat on its shooting form, the Philippine men’s basketball team will have to cool its heels in a faraway airport after the Filipinos’ flight was delayed by 12 hours due to Typhoon Ompong.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Help is on the way though.Matthew Wright sat it out against Iran after serving a one-game suspension for his role in the Philippines-Australia brawl on July 2 and should form a deadly shooting combo with Lassiter should Guiao call up both for the game against Qatar.Japeth Aguilar, also suspended for one game, could also make his comeback as the Philippines will continue to miss standouts Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and RR Pogoy due to varying degrees of suspensions.Inquirer calls for support for the victims of typhoon OmpongResponding to appeals for help, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is extending its relief to victims of the recent typhoon Ompong.Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860 and Swift Code: BNORPHMM.Inquiries may be addressed to Inquirer’s Corporate Affairs office through Connie Kalagayan at 897-4426, [email protected] and Bianca Kasilag-Macahilig at 897-8808 local 352, [email protected] Only the top three teams from the group will qualify for the 2019 World Cup in China.Currently, Gilas Pilipinas is at no. 3 with a 4-3 (win-loss) record with Japan and Kazakhstan trailing by a game.The team’s shooters conked out against Iran, and that became telling despite Hamed Haddadi sitting out the duel because of a groin injury.San Miguel Beer guards Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter were a combined 2-of-14 from beyond the arc, contributing to the Philippines’ frosty 5-of-28 (18 percent) clip from three-point territory.The cold shooting allowed Iran to clamp down hard late on Christian Standhardinger, who wreaked havoc with 30 points and 12 rebounds but was visibly worn down in the stretch.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption View comments With arrivals in the country held up by the powerful storm set to hit the country on Saturday, the Nationals had to wait it out in Tehran a day after dropping an 81-73 decision to Iran late Thursday night.Originally scheduled to arrive 8:30 p.m. Friday evening, the Nationals are now expected to fly in 8 a.m. on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissAnd it’s too bad, because Gilas Pilipinas could have used the hours working on their shooting before going into their game against Qatar on Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.After the loss to Iran, which the Asian Games runner-up pinned on the team late in the fourth after the two squads battled through 20 lead changes in a nail-biting contest, the Philippines will now go into that closed-door match against Qatar needing a win to solidify its hold of the third spot in their second-round group. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownlast_img read more

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