My Empire In The Air is a blog series that follows and features individuals who truly live for their passions and create their own “Empires” through them.
This time around, we're spotlighting local small-food businesses around the Bay Area. We encourage our readers to show all their support to these businesses during these tough times! Kat Garcia (EITA intern) and myself will be adding a “Mukbang” style video to accompany the blog!
Hopefully we can help add new local favorites onto your Yelp lists!
To start off , we are featuring a fan-favorite amongst the Empire team, Hippies Brew!
Sonya Estrada aspired to open Hippies Brew after always being recommended by friends and family to go to different cities for breakfast and coffee. She wanted to have great-tasting coffee and breakfast in her own community all in one go.
“What aspired me to open up Hippies Brew was the need or the want to always have really good coffee and good breakfast in my backyard,” said Sonya.
“My partner and I were always being directed to Oakland and Berkeley to get good coffee or good breakfast sandwiches, and even then we would have to go to two different places to actually complete a good meal. So that was one of the things that got planted.”
Sonya also mentioned about going to church and having faith to help her find her purpose, desires, and aspirations when creating Hippies Brew.
Growing up around the Hayward, Newark, Union City, and Fremont area, Sonya says that there was a lack of culture and flavor.
“They overlook the importance of food and the value in it,” she said. “And I think that if they put good ingredients in it, people will acknowledge it. They want that! It’s filling the void!”
When it comes down to the food and coffee, they don’t mess around either! Their menu has been rationed down according to Sonya due to COVID. So they only have their top three food items at the moment, as well as a good short list of their popular drinks.
To Sonya's point, food is important because it helps connect people together. Food is a great ice breaker during uncomfortable conversations and is a comfort for the soul. It was because of food as to why she had come up with the name, “Hippies Brew.”
“Hippies Brew, the name came from my step kids, my partner’s kids would make fun of the food I eat. And they would be like, ‘We don’t want your hippies foods!’ And it would just be Trader Joes items," she said. “And I was like, ‘Hippies food?!’ And then I was like, ‘Aw dude, Hippies Brew!’ And so it kinda just stuck, and it was really catchy.”
Currently, their top three popular food items are the “Freakin French Toast,” “McLovin Muffin” and “C Me Rollin.” "The “Rick Ross” and “Ice Loves Coco,” makes up their popular drink items.
“What makes our food so special... is love, bro,” she said.
“My people are so positive. My work environment is super solid, dude! Like they’ll be singing, dancing and like they’re vibing. How people thrive in their environment and what they put out actually will go with what they are making.”
3900 Smith St. Union City, CA 94587
888 C St. Hayward, CA 94541