Welcome to the Deco blog! This new series will celebrate entrepreneurs, creatives, business leaders, and other influencers who are making an impact in Long Beach. These amazing people will share their inspiring stories in their own voice, and give their personal perspective on what makes our community such a great place to work, live and play.
Today we’re talking to Timothy Shoja Terrilli, founder of Aroma Di Roma, a popular coffeehouse serving Italian specialties such as espresso, paninis, bruschetta, fresh salads, gelato, and more. With a long history in Long Beach, Aroma Di Roma has just opened its newest location at 444 West Ocean Blvd, right next door to Deco. Howdy, neighbor!
Please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I worked for the biggest corporate coffee chain from age eighteen to twenty-three. During that time, I learned the coffee business, and found that I had a knack and passion for the customer service industry. I respected the job I had and excelled in their system until I was able to create my own business. I decided to leave the company and open my own place when I was twenty-four. Seventeen years later, I have opened four locations.
What inspired you to choose this path?
I took a break from customer service and studied abroad, living in Madrid, Spain, and then Rome, Italy. It was there that I learned about the cafe culture and decided I would like to recreate it in Long Beach.
It’s great to pursue your passion, but we know it’s not always easy. Tell us about your challenges and successes.
You always hear “location, location, location” in response to “What are the keys to opening and getting a business profitable,” but success doesn’t really come down to any one factor. Everything about opening a cafe or restaurant is difficult, and you need to be well versed in all aspects of the game. It took me about ten years to really nail down what was needed to run a business like this and make it successful.
What are you most proud of as a company, and what sets you apart?
My amazing staff and their outstanding customer service.
Let’s get out the crystal ball – what does the future hold and what are your next steps?
I’m looking to do some more projects that reflect the cafe and restaurant culture that I have come in contact with through my travels. During the past several years, I have visited Australia, Cuba, Portland, Seattle, and revisited Spain and Italy. Exciting projects are always running through my mind, and I would love the chance to release them.
If you lived in a parallel universe, what would you be doing?
Probably following my childhood dream of becoming an actor and entertainment writer.
Do you have any advice for our readers?
Enough advice has been given by people more successful than myself. I resonate most with getting right back up, no matter how many times you’ve been knocked down.
What do you love about Long Beach?
I love that it’s centrally located between OC and LA, and we have a laid back demeanor and lifestyle.
Photos: Courtesy of Aroma Di Roma
Photo: Courtesy of Long Beach Post
Business Address: Aroma Di Roma 444 West Ocean Blvd. Suite 110, Long Beach, CA 90802
Instagram: aromadiromacentro, aromadiroma