“…STOP.  Don’t be afraid.  Punch fear in the throat”

a pretty valid way to look at life and the goals you have set in place for yourself and also a great motto to have as we head into the the New Year!  Outgoing and sweet spirited, Shauntee Joseph of Starfish And Coffee Kids guided me around her beloved Berekeley; showing me some great hidden gems (and even the best place to go grocery shopping!)  When you have the best of the best right outside your door, you often wonder, why look any further!

Where are your favorite places to go in Berkeley (or outside) and why, if any reason?P1010248P1010247P1010250My current obsession is La Noisette Sweets.  It’s a French style sweet and savory pastry shop that uses seasonal and local ingredients.  Gahhhhh to die for!  I have a friend who owns a bacon business called The Baconer, La Noisette Sweets has a pastry made with these meaty bits of bacon and I swear, it makes you close your eyes while you eat it!  P1010266P1010260The Berkeley Marina is great for early morning walks!P1010190P1010191Neyborly for an amazing event space!P1010192P1010195IMG_3130Ici Ice for the best ice cream!  Seasonal flavors, amazing service and they’re chocolate tipped cones can’t be beat!P1010165P1010169P1010171And of course the neighborhood fave, 900 Grayson for chicken and waffles but ALSO I love the T.V dinner.  It’s a new take on the everyday fish, potatoes and a veggie.  I’ve never been disappointed.  The Pot de Creme is a MUST for dessert made in house by co-owner Chris.P1010184P1010178P1010183P1010180Neeko clothing store and also my sisters clothing line Evarize!  She also just started a non profit to help an orphanage in Uganda!

Your favorite place to travel outside of the Bay Area?

My husband and I honeymooned in Spain.  We spent four days in Madrid then took the train to Barcelona for eight more days.  I didn’t want to come home!  Madrid was gorgeous everywhere you looked.  The vibe in Barcelona is amazing, so bohemian and free spirited.  Not to mention I ate to my hearts content, some of the most amazing food.  If you’re ever in Barcelona, Casa de Oro was heavenly and an authentic Spanish experience.  Also, The Box in the Gothic Quarter…the best gourmet hot dogs in the world…well, maybe not the world, and a rum bar with in house infused rum in about 50 flavors!  I have a cousin who lives in Seville and I can not wait to visit her soon!

Talk to me about Starfish and Coffee Kids and how it came about?  Also, what inspired the name!IMG_3140IMG_3139Starfish and Coffee is an excuse for my friend Fre and I to get into general mischief disguised as a children’s lifestyle brand.  We were having lunch one day in the midst of my planning my son’s 6th birthday and I mentioned it was such fun but tedious work to find everything I needed for it to come together.  I wanted to be able to go online, choose everything I needed; from decorations to plates to an activity for the kids to do to goody bags, all in one place and have it sent to my house.  All I would have to do is pour myself a glass of wine and set it up.  Fre looked at me and said “We’re doing it”

The name comes from my favorite artist Prince.  Starfish and Coffee is a song on the 1987 Sign O’ the Times album about an odd girl in his class named Cynthia Rose who “wore the prettiest dress but different color socks”  The lyrics say:

If you asked her what she had 4 breakfast, this is what she’d say

Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam

Butterscotch clouds and a tangerine, a side order of ham

If you set your mind free, baby, maybe U’d understand

Starfish and coffee, maple syrup and jam

I love this song and the sentiment behind it.  Plus, she kinda sounds like me as a kid!  I want the spirit of our brand to be for the kid that marches to the beat of his own, sometimes off beat, drum.

What does the future look like for Starfish and Coffee Kids?

We launch next month!  I’m super excited.  And the business has now grown into party goods, children one of a kind refurbished furniture and retail and consignment clothing all online.  After working in high end retail for 12 years, it’s empowering to take that knowledge and experience and apply it to something I can build for myself.  I couldn’t be happier!

Your recipe for style?IMG_3141

Fit is the key to happiness and don’t buy it if you don’t love it!  Oh, and save your special gems for your daughter.  I loved playing in my mom’s closet as a kid!

What has been the most insightful advice given to you when starting Starfish and Coffee and can you offer any tips to those who want to start their own business?

Don’t be afraid!  Fear paralyzed me for a long time.  I over analyzed EVERYTHING!  Can I leave a steady paycheck to jump into the unknown?  What if I fail?  What if I succeed?  Am I capable?  Look at that business, it’s so much further along.  STOP.  Don’t be afraid.  Punch fear in the throat.


Make sure to check out more of Starfish and Coffee Kids here as well as for all of your birthday needs because a new year is upon us and you know what that means…

All photos, unless otherwise noted, are by Alquista Ryans.  Please do not use photos without permission


Posted by:Boulevard no.32

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