Local coffee shop Dogtown Coffee, located at 2003 Main Street in Santa Monica, was announced as the winner of the Most Loved Santa Monica Business contest for 2020.

The annual Most Loved contest is the People’s Choice award for local businesses. There are 34 categories, and locals vote for the best and favorite businesses each year.

Dogtown Coffee, a small Santa Monica business on the corner of Main Street and Bay Street has been a community staple for many years. Assaf Raz says that with Dogtown you “come for the story and stay for the quality” citing the history of the location and the Munchies Burrito and Salty Dog respectively. Assaf is extremely grateful for the support of the community through the Most Loved award. He says that “the community is what saved us from complete ruin. Just like back in 2012, the locals carried us through this and patiently held in as we worked the challenges of this new system. The fact that we got this vote, is just cherry on the top. We’re dedicated to continuing to honor this bond with the neighborhood.” Assaf says that the community is one of the shop’s greatest assets in this unprecedented time. 

The shop has taken a number of steps since the beginning of March to ensure the safety of its staff and customers. Initially, the shop closed its doors and laid off the entire staff effective March 13th to avoid hemorrhaging capital. They then began to re-imagine the shop as a “stationary food truck” and turned the patio into the customer service space, only offering pickup and delivery. They adopted a cashless system so payment could be made through apps and the website to avoid contact. Along with this, they altered the menu to include more “finger food” and limited it to help with “production line effectiveness.” More recently they have opened up an outdoor seating area in the parking lot and have hired a security guard as a safety measure. 

Assaf has also cited these safety measures as the shop’s greatest strengths in the coming months. He says that the “food truck” model has proved to be labor and production effective and that their enclosed outdoor area is a great asset as well. 

Assaf thanks the staff for all of their efforts and says that they are the people who truly run the store and deserve the credit for its success. He also thanks the community for their immense support. 

The locals favorite breakfast burrito, coffee, and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch by the beach.

Most Loved is a special publication created in partnership with the Santa Monica Daily Press, City of Santa Monica, Buy Local, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, Downtown Santa Monica, Santa Monica Pier, Montana Avenue Merchants Association, Pico Improvement Organization, Main Street Business Improvement Association the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.