Cup of joe? More like cup of Ryan. This Californian cafe is making your local barista’s trademark heart or leaf latte art look pretty dated. Inspired by the runaway success of blockbuster hit La La Land, Carrera Café decided to incorporate the movie’s lead star Ryan Gosling into their beverage offering.
“Ryan has become a serious heart throb for many people and we felt our customers would really enjoy the ‘Hey Girl’ meme,” owner Kia Illulian told Lonely Planet News. “We have a revolving mural wall and we featured the movie on there so we felt that we could capitalize on its success with our unique latte art.” Of course, it’s not the first time the Canadian actor has become an Internet sensation. In 2011, gender studies student Danielle Henderson used images of Gosling, her preferred “sensitive movie guy”, overlaid with feminist quotes. The resulting memes went viral all over the world, and were eventually turned into a bestselling book.
According to Kia, staff at his Melrose Avenue eatery use a proprietary, much like a laser printer, that can take any image and render it in high quality on the surface of a hot or iced latte. In keeping with the aforementioned tongue-in-cheek Feminist Ryan Gosling reference, the actor’s face is accompanied with positive affirmations like “I love it when you wear yoga pants all day.” Gosling has not yet been to the popular café but the invitation has been extended, and staff are hopeful that he will stop by to sample the goods soon.
Apart from Ryan’s face peeking up from your pick-me-up beverage, you may find another familiar smile staring back at you: your own! Simply supply the baristas with a selfie and before you can say ‘caffeine’ your mug will be floating in the mug. From the exterior mural art to the personalised coffee and photogenic menu items (salads, subs, sides and sweets) – the entire operation was envisioned with social media in mind. The busy hotspot is tagged in approximately fifty photos on Instagram alone every day. The regular appearances of high profile bloggers such as Chiara Ferragni, Aida Domenech, Victoria Rocha and Gina Ybarra – whom have a collective following of almost 13 million impressionable fans – has no doubt been a driving force behind the venture’s success.
“We used social media to help get our message out and it has done wonders for our business,” Kia confirmed. “Each surface of the café and all of the packaging was thought out for months in advance to guarantee the most picture-worthy images.”