Healthy Self-Employment


Healthy Self-Employment

Joshua James is a NASE Member from San Francisco, California and is the owner of Ocean Beach Cafe. Josh was a career bartender who decided to take a year off from drinking to see what would happen. About a year later, he opened Ocean Beach Cafe and began to build the largest Non Alcoholic Beverage Selection in the World! Ocean Beach Cafe is a busy community art cafe that sells locally roasted coffee, healthy eats, and houses the only Non Alcoholic Bar on the West Coast!

When and why did you join NASE?
I joined NASE to be part of a community and see where I could give and receive support in this crazy Food & Beverage industry.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
I was deep in the cocktail, beer & wine world and needed to take a break. I started reviewing Non-Alcoholic Beverages as Josh the Non Alcoholic on YouTube and @joshthenonalcohlic on instagram, not knowing where it would take me. Little did I know it would bring me to a Deli permanently closing in a week and with no money, I went on to secure funding to build the largest non alcoholic beverage selection on the West coast.

When and why did you start your business?
In January of 2021 I went straight from a Sober Living House to opening Ocean Beach Cafe.

How do you market your business?
We are very active on Ocean Beach Cafe’s Instagram and the local social media scene. We have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications with countless articles written about us in this massively booming Non-Alcoholic Beverage industry.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
Staffing! Finding people has been the biggest challenge so far. Covid Mandates and fear were also obstacles we had to overcome. Now, it seems our biggest challenge is letting people at this busy beach know that we are here and we are awesome!

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
Almost 100 hours a week and a typical days has MANY significant layers to it. I’ll train in staff, make coffee, prep food, execute food, do food orders, drink orders, optimize POS, emails, fix things, social media, and lots more!!

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
Meeting the people who walk in looking for coffee and sandwiches and leave knowing these new NA beverages are a new choice and it changes their lives, and those that they excitedly tell their friends about.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
The best compliment we get is definitely, “Thank you for doing this!”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
There are a lot of little hacks that can add up to a lot over the year. Find rewards cards, look for free items, talk to the community about how they can help, look for grants, optimize your POS. Lastly, and most importantly: Understand it’s your own mind that makes you tired, that makes you not want to do something. Work on your mindset most of all!

Which NASE member benefit is most important to you?
The Grants! The NASE Growth Grant program is fantastic and very much needed in the current small business environment.

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