New Pop-Up Coffee Bar Brings Portland Trends to Zaferia District


Photos by Ariana Gastelum.

Commodity, a pop-up coffee bar, has found its way to Long Beach’s Zaferia district, supplying new customers with more than just their basic coffee demands.

Owner Alan Gomez began his coffee career as a Starbucks barista in 2008. Over the years, he managed Daily Grind Espresso in Long Beach and helped open Portola in Costa Mesa. He also worked in coffee shops in Portland, Oregon for a year and a half before deciding to move back to Long Beach.

Now situated right next to Working Class Kitchen, Commodity previously had pop-ups at Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City and North Menswear in Laguna.

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It was in Portland where Gomez discovered vinegar soda, and he found himself drinking them almost every day. The sodas he makes at Commodity are the combination of soda water and a passion-fruit-flavored vinegar by Pok Pok Som, producing a tart, refreshing, vinegar-based beverage.

“If you even like Kombucha in the tiniest amount, you’re probably going to dig the vinegar,” he told the Post. “It’s tough to stomach by itself, but in a soda, it’s so tasty.”

Commodity also serves local and international roasts such as Lord Windsor from Long Beach, Penrose Coffee Roasting Company from Denver and Belleville Brulerie from Paris.

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Gomez came upon Belleville Brulerie a few years ago after connecting with a French Instagram follower who roasts coffee. He and Gomez eventually developed a strong long-distance friendship. Gomez has even visited him twice while in Paris.

“He’s never been to America, and we text all the time,” Gomez said. “He’s such a good roaster. I carry his because of that. I think I’m the only person in the country to have it.”

Commodity’s interior has minimal decor that is similar to an art studio. One brick wall behind the coffee bar accents the stark white walls, and a blue motorcycle sits in the back, near the left side of the bar.

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“Each coffee bar owner, they each have their own vibe, their own aesthetic,” he said. “Everyone could carry the exact same coffee, but you go into all the different shops in Long Beach, and they all feel really different. […]I like the minimal, relaxed vibe.”

Commodity officially opened Monday, April 10. Because Gomez is a first-time business owner, he and his landowner agreed that the coffee bar will remain a pop-up for the next few months. This short-term agreement does not hinder Gomez’s long-term goals.

“Making it a lot more efficient and sustainable is what I really want,” he said. “So far, I’m happy with what I got. […]Next year, I’m going to start thinking about a much bigger picture of what this place is going to look like in 10 years, 20 years from now.”

Commodity is open every day from 7:00AM to 5:00PM.

Commodity is located at 1322 Coronado Avenue.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.