Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Debbie Rossetti-Colacion, the founder and owner of Blackbird Cafe, about a successful four years of being in business, some of her more creative dishes, and the benefits of being located in Historic California Heights.
Debbie grew up in Torrance and worked at the local Coco’s for nine years with her close friend Lydia, who is currently a server at Blackbird. Annette, also a Blackbird server, was once employed by Coco's as well; she was a trainer/coordinator. The three of them are humming a different tune today, with a blossoming business in an up-and-coming neighborhood that takes kindly to all things local. Debbie is modest and personable, not accepting my congratulations on the achievement without first mentioning her team, “Making a small business successful is a group effort; I owe a huge thank you to my staff for their dedication and support.”
She even admits that she isn’t much of chef, though she unquestionably has vision when it comes to food and beverages. Between the delicious “Mexiterranean,” two poached eggs sitting atop bacon, sliced tomato, and grilled English muffins, finished with diced jalapeño, basil feta cheese, and hollandaise sauce, and their very fun “Tropical Toast,” six halves of honey wheat bread dipped into a cinnamon coconut mixture, grilled with shredded coconut, and topped with seasonal fresh fruit and walnuts, I’m not certain that I could order a dish at Blackbird that doesn’t look like a work of art.
We touched on how Blackbird’s location has effected the business thus far. Debbie noted that, “Cal Heights is very up-and-coming and has been incredibly receptive to small, local businesses. The people here are diverse, friendly and community-minded.” She continued by emphasizing the importance of community and how it can help people achieve security and success.
I congratulated Debbie once more before our call ended and she, of course, stated again how grateful she is for the cafe’s reception among the local residents and how she couldn’t have done it alone. I could hear the bustle of the restaurant over the line, the hot griddle, the kitchen chatter, it was the sound of a thriving small business. Debbie asked me to extend an invitation to anyone who is reading this to stop by the Blackbird Cafe and celebrate their fourth anniversary. The food is delicious, the Bloody Marys are spicy and tall, and they’ll be giving away free cookies all day to celebrate their wonderful achievement.
by Nick Mayer