A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A visit for a morning fix at Wish You Were Here Coffee Roasters

A small coffee shop in Pomona provides a unique, heartwarming experience and soul-soothing food and drink
The cozy atmosphere of Wish You Were Here Coffee Roasters.
Sara Hager
The cozy atmosphere of Wish You Were Here Coffee Roasters.

Located on the corner of Garey Avenue and Third Street in Pomona, right across from the Fox Theatre, Wish You Were Here Coffee Roasters lies nestled inside O’Donovan’s Restaurant & Pub. The independently owned shop opened its doors on Dec. 11, 2021.

Wish You Were Here’s coffee beans are sourced by the owner, Daniel Betancourt, who goes down to Mexico for sourcing. The shop’s hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every day.

Greeted by a warmly lit ambiance, an aromatic atmosphere and some quiet music curated by the staff, there’s not an ounce of bad vibes.

The culture here is one of being interconnected; sitting by the window side and keeping your ears and eyes open, you’ll notice the baristas keeping up with their regulars and new visitors alike.

A conversation about the next performance at The Glass House, a couple enjoying time together, friends catching each other up on each other’s jobs and students studying for finals with laptops and headphones, all make up the population coming in and out of the coffee shop’s doors.

One of the baristas, George Jimenez, recalls his past experiences working at other coffee shops and comparing it to Wish You Were Here. He finds the experience at the shop to be one of openness.

“They’re just nice to me and everyone I met here has been pretty welcoming, super nice right off the bat,” Jimenez said. “Here, is one of the first times where literally everyone involved is super involved; they’re super friendly and they want to get to know people and it’s cool because we met a lot of cool friends.”

For Jimenez, one of the more difficult drinks to make is an espresso tonic, especially flavored espresso tonics.

“Because of the way that the sugar and then the tonic water and the espresso all react to each other, you have to pour it slow and you have to pour it at an angle because if you just pour it in, it’s going to explode. It’s like if you put Mentos in Diet Coke,” Jimenez said.

Wish You Were Here has a rotating food menu depending on the season and day—so some items aren’t permanent. For example, in the summer, there’s a Mortadella sandwich. However, the shop retains staple items, like the chicken and waffles or steak and eggs.

And for the music, Jimenez notes Jules Garcia, the other barista for the day, as the curator of the playlist that day.

“We have full freedom of the music we play, which is super awesome because we’re all really into different things,” Jimenez said. “Today we’re feeling hip hop, a lot of instrumentals, you know.”

As for Garcia, she has had a history with coffee.

“I’ve been working with coffee for the last seven or eight years,” Garcia said. “I think I started when I was 21 or 22, and I’m about to turn 30.”

With this experience comes working through a rush, as many food service workers understand.

“If I’m on [the] bar, just making drinks? Then yes, I love when there’s a rush and I could just be doing that because I could be on autopilot,” Garcia said.

For the staff, rotations are implemented so nobody stays in one spot too long. Making sure quality stays up to the shop’s standards.

As for favorite drinks, Garcia notes lattes as her favorite because she gets to work on her art. She also bartends in the pub on weekends that Wish You Were Here shares space with.

“It’s nice to mix it up so that way, on bar I can be a little bit more playful with people whereas here I kind of have to watch because you never know how someone getting their coffee is feeling that day,” Garcia said.

Garcia expressed that socializing with guests isn’t her first preference, as her passion lies behind the making of the coffee.

“Overall, it’s a really chill space. But even so, every day there’ll be a different vibe,” Garcia said. “Some days it’ll be a really quiet day, there’s no one really talking so it’s chill, or everyone wants to talk to the baristas and that’s fine too.”

The environment truly is one of calm, energy and togetherness. The coffee itself has a well-rounded and smooth taste. Staying in to sip on the coffee adds to the experience of enjoying your drink and opens you up to new friends and open conversations.

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