Black Elephant Coffee Atwater Village


Support the community. Respect Nature. Drink good coffee. Join the tribe.” This is the motto painted on the wall of the newly opened Black Elephant Coffee in Atwater Village.

Black Elephant Coffee Atwater Village

Black Elephant Coffee owners are married couple Heidy Fu and Gonzalo Otarola. They are also the proprietors of Simply Coffee in Burbank. The partners are both from Chile, where the coffee culture pervades every area of life. According to Heidy, in South America family and friends get together and spend time talking and sharing over coffee. Since they are thousands of miles from their family, she says that their SoCal friends have become extended kin. Their coffee shops have become a meeting place for many people who are searching for a spot to drink coffee—or tea—with their tribe in a neighborhood spot.

Why Black Elephant Coffee?

It’s this passion for a cup and a connection inspired Heidy and Gonzalo to open a shop to drink coffee in Atwater Village. To explain what might seem like an unusual name for a coffee shop, Heidy tells the story of how Gonzalo saw the animal and felt the connection in an ayahuasca-fueled vision during a ceremony with a Peruvian shaman. “Elephants are community-driven animals who are always looking out for the herd,” Heidy says. “And they have astounding memories. This is what we want to create at the shop: life-long moments you share with family and friends.”

Elephants are also part of the natural ecosystem that includes coffee. In order to further their personal connection, Black Elephant Coffee has symbolically adopted an elephant through the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A portion of the shop’s proceeds will support WWF.

In addition to serving locally roasted Stumptown Coffee, Black Elephant Coffee in Atwater Village also serves a wide selection of loose-leaf organic teas. The all-organic food and snacks section features grab-and-go items including vegan and gluten-free options that include pastries. Visit the website for free monthly community workshops. Some upcoming topics include nutrition, feng shui, painting, and more.

Where to Find Black Elephant Coffee Atwater Village

Black Elephant Coffee
3195 Glendale Blvd, Atwater Village


Felicia M. Tomasko
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.