Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Cloud9 Coffee: Local Baylands cafe takes off

BEHIND THE COUNTER — Amid the busy Saturday morning coffee rush, Cloud9 Coffee co-owners Hanna Joo and Elizabeth Kim laugh as they crack jokes to each other. “I hope [people] find a place where they can rest and enjoy good coffee and good food that’s not too far from home,” Joo said. (Austin Eng)

Nestled in a corner of a strip mall between the Palo Alto Airport and the Baylands Golf Links, Cloud9 Coffee, a small, woman-owned cafe opens at the crack of dawn. Handcrafted pottery neatly lines the walls leading to the kitchen which fills the shop with the aroma of freshly pressed croffles (croissant waffles). Peering through the large window panes, the Baylands wildlife can be seen towards the horizon as flocks of geese fly above the golf course and bees pollinate the nearby flower garden. As the crisp morning air fades with the rising sun, customers start trickling in.

Good friends and co-owners Hannah Joo and Elizabeth Kim took advantage of an open lease last year to start Cloud9 Coffee after the former deli vacated the space. Soft opening on Sep. 1, Cloud9 Coffee opened its doors to the Palo Alto community, serving a variety of coffee, tea and non caffeinated drinks, as well as croffles and featured bakery items from Mountain View’s Midwife and the Baker. Additionally, various tartines (open-faced sandwiches) and salads complete the menu’s savory options. 

“We try to do local [ingredient sourcing] as much as possible,” Joo said. “We found one [coffee roaster] in Mountain View and we really like their blends and their coffees because they have an Italian style.”

— Hanna Joo, Cloud9 Coffee co-owner

“We [Joo’s family] spend our time hiking here [the Baylands] and we’re always looking for a place to drink coffee,” Joo said. 

With Joo’s background as an interior designer and Kim’s skill in ceramics and flower arrangement, the combination of both their talents allowed for the creation of a warm and homey atmosphere. 

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“We tried to remodel it [Cloud9 Coffee] into a peaceful, serene atmosphere that fits the environment here,” Joo said. “My partner [Kim] makes most of the ceramics that we have here and we also have other merchandise that we think is aesthetically pleasing for our shop.” 

As avid coffee people, both Joo and Kim put a lot of effort into perfecting the consistency of their coffee by starting with the local sourcing of their ingredients. 

“We try to do local [ingredient sourcing] as much as possible,” Joo said. “We found one [coffee roaster] in Mountain View and we really like their blends and their coffees because they have an Italian style.”

In addition to the usual food and drink items, Cloud9 Coffee also offers various workshops for the customers to take part in. Joo said they rent out the space for a variety of events such as bridal showers, birthday parties or corporate celebrations.

“We want people to come and rest and enjoy,” Joo said. “This is Silicon Valley; everyone is busy doing something so this is a place where they can rest and restore.”

— Hanna Joo, Cloud9 Coffee co-owner

“We try to do monthly events,” Joo said. “We started with flower arrangements and were going to do jewelry-making next.”

Joo said her hope for Cloud9 Coffee is to provide a space for customers to either work or relax.

“We want people to come and rest and enjoy,” Joo said. “This is Silicon Valley; everyone is busy doing something so this is a place where they can rest and restore.”

Verde took a visit to Cloud9 Coffee and reviewed a handful of food and beverages personally recommended by the owners.