Hey Barista,

Short Talks


Bobby ValentinoOwner/Barista atPentacle CoffeeSan Francisco, California

I’m passionate about people and kindness. I haven’t had the easiest life: I lost my father at age 10 due to gun violence, I lost a dear aunt to suicide, I’ve had difficulty with feeling abandoned by family because I came out at a young age—I did grow up in an immigrant Catholic family, after all. But I feel that love and kindness is what has propelled me through life and I apply it in both my personal and professional life. It applies to everything I do: building business relationships, meeting customers, going on climbing trips, meeting coffee farmers, buying a burrito, everything.

I’m a first generation US citizen and I’ve been in the Bay Area for about 18 years. In that time I’ve been able to participate in many different communities and I’m grateful to have been welcomed into so many diverse groups of people. I love to involve myself with queers, musicians, artists, cyclists, climbers and other business owners. Being kind, open and humble has allowed me to participate and support different things and people that I find interesting. I love seeing people be creative, organizing events and bringing people together.

I opened up a cafe because it’s been a dream and passion of mine for over a decade. I wanted to create a space that reflects my personality and be welcoming to all. I wanted to build a space that is queer, and owned by a POC which I feel is lacking in the specialty coffee world. I hope to develop the brand, roast coffee, and eventually open up more spaces. Being in the heart of SF, on Sixth Street, I hope to welcome and expose locals and visitors to the beauty of queerness and compassion to community.

Love and kindness apply to everything I do — climbing, meeting farmers, even buying a burrito.

My happiest moment was listening to my friend's mother play the accordion while me and some friends skinny-dipped drunk in Loch Ness.

Having the art gallery in the cafe was an early idea. We took over the historic SF Barber College which had operated for five decades. I wanted a space to dedicate to art, where you can walk right up to it and appreciate it. With such a large 1,600 square foot space, a gallery just made sense because it lets us exhibit local art and also have a space for future events. I’ve met many artists throughout my life and visited many galleries in the Bay Area over the last 18 years. I think creating an arts space is just another great way to bring people together, plus it adds more arts space to San Francisco.