When I moved to Pasadena to jumpstart Rose City Church, I found a small group of homeless young adults sleeping on the concrete slab beside our cafe steps.

After nine months of attempting to help and care for them in a variety of ways, I realized that I could not meet their needs alone.

I did a bit of research and discovered many local programs assisting transitional youth, but none of them focused on employment or teaching specific skill sets.

Left with an unshakable desire to meaningfully improve the lives of these young adults with my own limited resources, I decided to open the doors above that concrete slab and start coffee services that could provide transitional employment training.

I asked my good friend Brett Prior to help me out, and together we made this possibility a reality.


We focused on the importance of sustainability in social services through new forms of social entrepreneurialism, careful to keep social, not financial, goals in mind. We also focused on providing world-class coffee training that would guarantee transitional employment.

Brett realized that in order for our coffee shop to be successful, we needed to compete with the best coffee shops in town – we needed to offer the best cup of coffee in Pasadena. This is not easily done.

His passion for coffee is exactly what we needed to instill a passion for coffee in the lives of our young baristas. It is the passion for coffee found in our world-class barista trainers that empowers our youth to change their lives through the craft of coffee.

And so here we are, four years later, and growing faster than ever, ready to open our own cafe in Pasadena.


To be honest, I never thought this idea would work so well.

Having the opportunity to enter the lives of our young trainees, and allowing them to enter mine, has been both deeply moving and exceptionally fun.

If you would like to see our new baristas in action, meet our barista trainers, or hear more about our plans for the future, then send me a line at dan@rosecitycoffee.org.

I would love to meet you.

- Dan Davidson

Co-Founder and Executive Director