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Mentoring Plans Also Percolate at This Coffee Bar

March 03, 2000|BOOTH MOORE

Tricia Galarza-Ramos, 35, who's heard her share of drunk-driving horror stories from her police-officer husband, built a business around the idea that you can have just as much fun at a party sipping a Cuban latte as a Mojito cocktail.

She runs America's Cup, a mobile espresso bar that can be rented, at $100 an hour, for private parties. Galarza-Ramos will even name the coffee drinks at her bar especially for the event.

"When people leave a party that I've worked, they're not going to be asked to walk a straight line," she said. "They may talk a lot, but that's about it."

Her love of coffee began when she was in her early 20s and she worked as a flight attendant. Her route took her through Mexico and Latin America, where she made a point of visiting coffee plantations.

But what gets her juices flowing even more than coffee is mentoring. "Hiring at-risk girls is not always the smartest thing business-wise, but I've been there," she said.

She not only mentors her own employees, but is deeply involved in an annual event aimed at helping Latinas make good choices about education and careers, the Latina Youth Conference. This year, Galarza-Ramos will be chairwoman of the May 11 event, for girls in grades eight through 12 and their mothers, at Santa Monica College.

(Anyone interested in volunteering at the conference, which is already at capacity, can call [310] 586-0876).

"It's powerful to be in a room with other Latinas who made it," she said. "The conference exposes girls to potential role models and mentors, and shows them they can do anything they want."


Speaking of joe, the Beverly Hills-based cosmetics company Hard Candy is rolling out a line of coffee lipsticks with a kick.

Hard Candy says its Caffeine Lipsticks not only smell and taste like freshly brewed coffee, but are laced with caffeine that provides a pick-me-up when absorbed through the skin. They come in Lipachino, Latte Lip and Cafe O Lip shades. Fashion photog David LaChapelle shot the ad campaign, "Wake up and Smell the Lipstick."

"It's ridiculous perfect for L.A. and New York, where everyone's on the go, and rush, rush, rush," said Hard Candy founder Dineh Mohajer, 25, who called on her cell phone while rushing from one appointment to another. "It's a great way to get your lips done and to get your caffeine intake for the day."

In truth, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has nothing to fear: The lipsticks, available later this month, have a low dose of caffeine, so no matter how many times you slick your lips, you're not going to get the jitters.


Alejandro Gehry, the 23-year-old son of L.A. architect Frank Gehry, is following in his father's footsteps.

The graphic designer and illustrator, who lives in Brooklyn, is cutting his chops on a still-unnamed restaurant scheduled to open in June on 26th Street in New York's trendy Chelsea neighborhood.

Frank Gehry is a partner in the venture, overseeing a team of designers from New York's Arnell Group, which includes his son.

"I've worked with my dad before, but not to this scale," Alejandro said. "It's a pretty big deal."

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