On the Line: Toby Keil of AoSA Coffee, Part Two

For those of you just tuning in, I've changed the format this week. Toby Keil, AoSA's workaholic general manager and I roll with the punches, answering questions as we see fit. But first, an excerpt from their mission statement:

AoSA Coffee is a conscious coffee house that at its core, represents the fundamentals of what a home truly is: a sanctuary to family, a safe place to interact with your neighbors, and a creative environment to replenish and recharge with an assortment of healthy, tasty drinks and treats.

Read our disclaimer, plus part one of our interview with Toby here.
And now, we continue with part two . . .

The AoSA embodies everything I hoped for in terms of what I set out to do in opening a cafe. This whole idea of a sustainable coffee shop would not have been possible, if not for the generosity and determination of Mike Hill and his family.


When Toby isn't scheduled, he's running and biking. A Huntington Beach native, he's also lived and worked in the Bay Area [Editor's Note: Shout out to Daly City, a place he once called home– and my hometown!]. Currently, Keil lives within walking distance of AoSA. His outdoor workouts provide an opportunity to clear his mind and enjoy the ocean air. Although sitting down with a book can prove just as effective.

Last book read:
Leonard Mlodinow's The Drunkards Walk.. It was about the human perception of randomness, and its tendency to be an illusion.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Climbing the tree in our front yard– throwing random pieces of scrap plywood up in the tree to make a floor or table. Falling off said trees many, many times to only cry a little, dust myself off and climb back to the spot I had fallen. I'd examine the broken branches I left in my wake and start thinking of ways to only climb higher.

What is the hardest lesson you've learned?
Growing up as an extremely fortunate child allowed me to do what I wanted to . . .Oddly enough, all I wanted to do was work. . . so as a 14-year-old freshman in high school, I got my first job at Huntington Beach's famous Tsunami Sushi and haven't stopped working since. All the while, I only worked to earn the respect of those I so deeply respected– namely my father.

With the two year anniversary of my father passing this June, I have realized many things. The first being the hardest to accept. He always respected, loved and encouraged all of my efforts, no matter how big or little– or if I succeeded or failed miserably. I have finally learned the last thing I will ever receive from my father. I have his blessing to go forth and exceed our expectations for the man I will become.

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