Two Guns Espresso has a new mate … and we’re in love
One day I was rushing to get an Americano at my favorite coffee shop, Two Guns Espresso in Manhattan Beach, and noticed there was a new barn door opening to an adjoining room that hadn’t been in view before. I poked my head inside to see a huge, long community table in the center. The […]
- Written byTanya Monaghan
- Photographed byLauren Pressey
One day I was rushing to get an Americano at my favorite coffee shop, Two Guns Espresso in Manhattan Beach, and noticed there was a new barn door opening to an adjoining room that hadn’t been in view before. I poked my head inside to see a huge, long community table in the center. The buzzy space was being kitted out with cool art, beautiful planters and other funky home ware goods.
I invited myself in—even though they didn’t appear to be officially open—and was immediately greeted by a beautiful, bubbly woman with a huge smile and an adorable New Zealand accent. “Come on in, take a look around!” said Natalie, who also turned out to be the owner.
There were people spilling over from Two Guns, sipping coffee and conversing across the community table. It was as if Two Guns had opened their store’s front doors and invited you into their home.
Natalie Stanisich is the wife of Andrew “Stan” Stanisich, owner of Two Guns—the first independent coffee company in Manhattan Beach. That uber-cool company launched in 2011 and has quickly expanded to El Segundo, Downtown LA and soon to North Manhattan Beach. When a small space formerly a hair salon became available next door to their Manhattan Beach location, they had the idea to take it over and create a store for their community.
At first Stan suggested opening a retail plant store—something that made Natalie’s eyes light up. She thought, “I love plants! Let’s do a plant store!”
She has always been a super-crafty person with a keen eye for design and loved the idea of creating a space filled with different and special items. And since Two Guns is always buzzing with people, perhaps customers would spill over into this new retail arena.
Natalie’s background is quite colorful. She grew up in New Zealand, where she dabbled in different areas of studies before finally finishing a degree in fashion design with an emphasis on costume design. She worked jobs in film and TV, in the art department and wardrobe, and then went back into office work for a big brand in the ‘90s. She has an extensive resume of jobs, but the ones she realized she loved the most were those dealing directly with people, fashion, art, design, style and creativity.
Natalie moved from New Zealand to L.A. with her husband in 2009. She was working with her family doing fashion e-commerce when she won the green card lottery and started working for Guess in the U.S. She started off as an e-commerce project manager and then merchandiser for Guess over a six-year stay. She brought that passion and experience to Two Guns, where she runs their marketing, social, product development and retail programs.
Suite 6 is the actual name of the space on the lease. When Stan asked Natalie, “What are we going to do with the space next door, suite 6?” … Two Guns is suite 7 … Natalie found the name of her store.
“For years our dream was to make a community area,” she says. “We wanted to create a function space—somewhere you could come and have a party—because we love parties! It has all evolved organically.”
They worked out a day rate for usage of the space during the weekdays and nights for small events. “We want to invite people to come along with 18 of their closest friends, for example,” she says. “They could use the kitchen, bring in a chef and have an amazing dinner party.”
Although Natalie loves all things beachy, she really wanted to give this space an international feel, filled with interesting and different gifts. The things that she buys are the things that she personally loves. Everything isn’t just purely functional … items must also have a beautiful design element, feel special and appeal to her sense of humor.
She also made it her goal to sell everything at an affordable price. As she says proudly, “I am not creating a museum; I am creating a shop!” |||
What’s behind a name? A reader’s letter challenging our take on the beach’s memorable moniker inspired us to dig a little deeper. If you think you know the correct answer, chances are it’s only half the story.