Never Too Latte celebrated its grand re-opening Saturday with a fun celebration and the support of the community.
To mark the 16th year that the downtown coffee shop has been open, Never Too Latte had a "Sweet 16" celebration to show off some recent additions that have been made to the cafe, including a new awning and new menu items such as the Crunchy Brunch Burrito and Pistachio Mocha.
Mayor Jim Ruane, Vice Mayor Ken Ibarra, Councilman Rico Medina, new Chamber CEO Jamie Monozon, Chamber President Kirsten Pinochi and others joined owners Charles Kusuma and Sheila Irawan—husband and wife—for the celebration.
Kasuma when he came to this country as a 16-year-old in 1998. He, his mother and brother were forced to flee Surabaya, Indonesia, to escape violence directed against Indonesians of Chinese origin—people just like them.
While a sophomore at San Francisco's Abraham Lincoln High School, he started bussing tables at an Italian restaurant in the West Portal section of the city. Soon he was promoted to host and from there to assistant manager. After graduation, he took other jobs at other restaurants in the Bay Area. His goal was to move up the ladder and be his own boss.
While working in restaurants he also pursued other interests. He became a professional photographer, a runway model and an actor, landing walk-on parts in several movies. But his passion was food, and he saved the money he earned. When the opportunity to buy Never Too Latte came up, he had the experience and the cash.
In 2010, he and Irawan bought the cafe, and they have been working on revamping it every since.
Kasuma has brought his passion for the food industry while Irawan has brought her baking experience.
Kasuma has said that he is passionate about maintaining a family-owned coffee shop in San Bruno, and that passion goes back to what his mother instilled in him.
"My late mother always told me, wherever you work, always treat your guest as your friend," Kasuma said. "That advice of hers became a motto for our café: 'Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends,' and that is why Never Too Latte will always welcome everyone that comes in with a warm heart and friendly service."
San Bruno Patch writer Maura Hurley contributed to this story.