Patria: One’s Native Homeland

Compton gets a new specially coffee shop, where the coffee is as amazing as the people who own the shop


Rory Cohen

Patria serves gourmet coffee in Compton.

Geoffrey and Deanna Martinez are Compton natives who decided to take a risk and open a coffee shop in the city of Compton. Patria Coffee is opening  at the intersection of Compton Boulevard and Alameda Street, right next to Wilson Park. It’s unique for a city that isn’t known for its coffee culture. The shop is expected to open to the public later this year.

This young couple plan to create a new home for those who have been searching for a friendly neighborhood coffee shop. Now residents will have no need to drive out to Pasadena or go into Downtown L.A. to get specialty coffee. Instead, they can just take a stroll by the park.

“The location picked me,” explained Geoffrey Martinez, 38 years old. “ I feel that black and brown people like coffee too.” He continued, “Just because we live in Compton doesn’t mean we have to travel far. I feel like quality of life also applies to us in Compton.”

For the Martinez couple, launching the business was a gamechanger and a huge shift. “I was first introduced to coffee roasting by my neighbor, Chris, in Compton,” Geoffrey Martinez said.  “I always wanted to do business.” Geoffrey took a gamble that took off and business is expanding.

“This new-found passion became a small venture when I decided to leave my job to be with my newly born son,” he said. He started roasting coffee beans in 2016 and working with local restaurants.

Patria Coffee is the name the Martinez couple have been roasting coffee under for a couple of years. They pride themselves on sustainability. As for the name? “Patria means motherland or homeland  in Spanish, but to me Patria is anything that reminds you of your heritage or where you come from,” said Geoffrey. “The name is a good fit because most of the coffee that we consume comes from Central America or Africa. So most of the people that grow coffee look like us,” he said, adding that “most of us that drink good coffee don’t look like us.”

Martinez described the need to bring gourmet, high quality coffee to his neighborhood. “Our people grow excellent coffee but drink substandard coffee,” he said. “Patria is a home for those who want to drink an excellent cup of coffee here in a neighborhood full of black and brown.”

The Martinez family is one of the many Compton businesses that is trying to build its community for the better. “I think that Patria is going to be the friendly neighborhood coffee shop, where people really will understand the importance of why we do what we do for the community,” said Martinez. “I’ll support my husband through all of this.”

Business is important, the couple said, but so is giving back. “Although money is important to keep our business thriving one of our values is people over profit,” Martinez said. “We constantly remind our team that the people we serve are important, without people there wouldn’t be coffee. We want to provide service with dignity, here in Patria we want to treat everyone equally, customer service is key no matter what you look or smell like.” 

Patria Coffee is partnered with the Compton initiative and the Unearth and Empower Communities (UEC). These two organizations gather the present community such as youth willing to be mentored, teachers, churches, small businesses, and residents. “I want to introduce young people who don’t have coffee skills to the coffee roasting industry,” he said. “We want to hire experienced baristas and then apprentices to learn from them, I just want to provide options for kids with an entry level work experience. We’re just trying to do what we can to support the local driven initiatives to make this a better place to live.”

Besides Patria’s location in Compton, the Martinez couple said they are already collaborating with restaurants in Bellflower, Huntington Park, and South Gate. “Currently, we are partnered with The Nest in Bellflower,” he explained, citing the breakfast spot. They’re also involved with Cruzita’s Deli and Cafe in Huntington Park and Eat Good in South Gate. “With Patria, we’re really trying to toss the textbook to the side and are choosing to believe that there are people here who want a healthy option.”

Right now the couple is working hard to fix up their new cafe so they can start spreading their talent through a cup of coffee. The Martinez family is really showing why Compton is the perfect home for Patria Coffee.


Tracy Mejia can be reached at [email protected]