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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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    Local Business Feature: Kin Bakeshop

    A drink from Kin Bakeshop

    The businesses that surround our school are a big part of San Marcos as they give students options to choose from for their lunches. Just recently over the summer, Kin Bakeshop, a cafe that serves unique drinks and donuts every week, opened up their location in the Turnpike shopping center.

    Every week, they create a new menu of mochi donuts, along with drinks such as matcha, black sesame, and more. The shop itself is a very calm and relaxed place, with your order being served on a tray once it is ready.

    Trinity Le, a senior at San Marcos, said, “I like the atmosphere and the good vibes the place overall has. Amazing workers, super generous and kind. I say try their mochi donuts as they’re so sweet and light, the coffee is amazing as well. Overall a great place.”

    The founder of Kin, Tommy Chang, started his business over the pandemic, first starting as a pop-up shop. He explained that over quarantine, along with many others that started baking, he started learning how to make mochi donuts and eventually decided to start selling them as well. During that time, all he wanted was a way to connect with people and check-in with them, which he was able to do when serving people drinks and donuts. He started selling these online, which immediately got him an audience. 

    “The first batch sold out in five minutes, then I doubled the quantity and sold out in three minutes,” said Chang, “then, I tried to up the production and it kept selling out— two minutes, one minute.”

    Eventually, a second version of the pop-up opened once Chang and his business partner, Will, started making brioche donuts. This new pop-up took place at the Your Choice restaurant on State Street, where they made the donuts become first-come, first-serve. They continued to sell out. When they were a pop-up, they instantly started to attract a following, and Chang described their business as “word-of-mouth,” as the customers told their friends and family, who also becaome regulars, and so on.

    In regards to what makes this business unique, Chang said, “None of us, especially me, have any experience in the food industry, and our approach is very different. Our approach is ‘people first’— How do we use what we make to serve people, connect people, and make them feel welcomed and cared for. For me and the team what’s important is, ‘how do we use this as a means to take care of people.”

    In their future, Chang explained that his goals for Kin’s are to do more for the nearby highschoolers by offering a lunch menu. Specifically, he presented the idea of a discounted lunch, as he acknowledged that financially, Santa Barbara can be a difficult place to live. Their plan is to “get what we are doing down, and expand from there,” possibly expanding the bakery items as well.

    Overall, Kin Bakeshop makes themselves unique through their well-crafted drinks and delicious donuts, but also through the kind customer service that they provide.

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    About the Contributor
    Candice Cugnier, Lifestyle Editor
    Candice Cugnier is a senior at San Marcos High School. This is her second year on the King’s Page. She is excited to be the Lifestyle Editor this year
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