FLOUR Café Owner Listens to Residents and Changes Hours

Flour owner Robert Flutie listened to customers and changed store hours. Now, he needs residents’ support to keep the eatery home for coffee/pastries.

Flour owner Robert Flutie decided to shorten the hours at the popular eatery at 847 Via de la Paz for financial reasons. That decision meant the little café would no longer be open in the early morning.

After residents’ outcry and petition, he’s willing to keep it open, but needs the community’s support.

Flutie was unaware of how much the residents had depended on this little community shop that had opened in May 2019. Offering espressos, lattes and breakfast pastries, the shop had become a comfortable hangout for locals. A place to gather and meet, an outside location across from Palisades Elementary that was removed from Sunset traffic and noise.

It became a gathering place for people after classes at the YMCA, a place for parents to gather after dropping off at school and a quiet place to hold a private meeting away from an office.  On one occasion Caruso’s Senior VP of Development Rick Lemmo and Rony Shram, developer of the  Highlands eldercare facility, were enjoying a quiet conversation, near the free lemon-infused water dispenser.

During Covid, the coffee shop struggled to stay open, but it did.

In May this year, it was announced that a new pizza establishment, Flour Pizzeria & Café, would open in the Estate Coffee space. Then Flutie said, “We will still provide the same wonderful coffee, pastries and breakfast items that were offered by Estate. We simply expanded to include pizza.”

Then reality hit. Business, which is slow in Pacific Palisades in the summer, bottomed out. Breakfast was not paying for staff and hours. “As a small business, that’s not tenable,” Flutie said and posted a change in store hours in August, stating the eatery would open at 11 a.m.

Once residents saw the new hours and realized their breakfast hangout was going away, they started a petition and met with Flutie asking him to rethink his decision.

He spent time talking to residents, and then wrote on social media,” I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of you. We are in business because of the loyalty of our customers and this conversation about our hours is a testament to how special our community is. We’re going to remain open in the mornings for the foreseeable future and adjust our opening time to 7:30 a.m.”

He told CTN that economics defies this decision. But Flutie wanted the community to know he had heard them, and he’ll stay open, but in return he needs this community’s support.

The prior owner of Estate coffee, Rick Cunningham, used the cafe to complement his real estate business. When he opened the shop, he said there was no place to eat or conduct a business meeting, so he told CTN, “I decided to fill the void by investing in a concept that will be a meeting point for everyone in the real estate offices.”

Now, that it is no longer real-estate centric business, Flutie needs to make a profit – or at least break even.

Come down for coffee and a pastry – and bring a friend. Keep “our” coffee shop on Via de la Paz open in the morning. It truly is a hidden gem and a lovely place to meet.

Call (424) 330-0220 or Instagram @flourpizzeria or the website: flourpizzeria.com.

Residents were already chatting by 9 a.m. on Labor Day at the Flour Cafe.

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