Carrera Cafe

An instagrammable cafe in West Hollywood

Industry: Bars & Restaurants 
Machines: Ripples AM
Location: Los Angeles


Kia Illulian was so intrigued with Ripples technology that he opened a cafe with Ripples as his core differentiator. He explains that for him, it was a “no brainer”, and that the opportunities for branding and creating a unique and personal customer experience were simply not to be missed. He was right.



According to Kia, coffee drinkers and foodies in Los Angeles are used to seeing things that are really cool, hip and trendsetting. Kia knew that using the Ripple Maker technology to create personalized beverages would be the thing to surpass his coffee drinkers’ expectations.  Word quickly spread that you can print a custom picture or message on top of a latte, iced or hot  and “people started coming in droves to visit us”, says Kia. One regular customer at Carrera even started asking his clients to meet him there, knowing she’d be able to surprise them with a custom print based on whatever project they were working on. From birthdays to Mothers and Fathers day, to baby announcements and bridal showers, customers are finding their own unique ways to personalize their experience.

During their first six months of business, Carrera was giving out customized Ripples for free, but they soon realized it was an easy way to monetize as a modifier that can be offered as an option. Charging a dollar extra for the Ripple print still provides a fair value to customers but helps cover the costs, while making extra money. Kia Illulian explains that to him, “You invest a little bit of money and you get a massive return. There’s incredible value in press and branding”. Carrera has now been internationally recognized because of their unique Ripples experience and coffee. Kia knows that providing Ripples has made Carerra Cafe a hotspot not to be missed, and has provided a competitive edge against other cafes in the neighborhood.



“People end up coming back sooner because they want to see the new drink content we have to offer”.

Kia Illulian, Co-Founder and Owner at Carrera Cafe


The goal at Carerra Cafe was to grow a consistent customer base while continually gaining new clientele. By using Ripples to increasingly change and create new content and images, Kia says, “I think our customers are looking forward to what the new content is, and those people that wouldn’t normally come back as often, end up coming sooner because they want to see what we have to offer”. He also notes that clients are eager to bring their friends and family to Carrera to show them what they can do. Ripples has increased the return rate exponentially. 

Kia now finds his customers and coffee all over Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat and has grown his presence on social media through content marketing all thanks to their shares and reposts. “We’ve created an online presence that is very unique and people look to see what kind of trends that we’re setting.” He adds that “It’s also word of mouth, it is such a unique option that we can provide here and people are sharing that”.

Numbers to date:

When Carerra Cafe started they were printing about 50 to 100 but that quickly grew to more than 2,000 Ripples designs a month.

Carerra Cafe has almost 50k followers on Instagram and their own unique hashtag for customers to post their coffee pictures. #HELLO

Almost 350 reviews on Yelp with a 4 star average. Almost every review specifically has a photo showing Ripples printed coffee, and specifically mentions Ripples or using the Ripples app.

Puppies, pretty people, and Ripples turn casual morning coffee at Carrera Cafe into a virality party.

You'd love LA too if you were leveraging its local culture like Carrera!

About Carrera Cafe

Ripples has made Carerra Cafe a specific destination for both locals and tourists for uniquely designed coffee.

Established: 2016

With Ripples since: The very beginning!

Fun fact: In the Season 7 episode of Vanderpump Rules titled “Tom and Tommer,” which aired in 2019, Lala Kent and Scheana Shay meet up at Carrera Café where they discuss Scheana’s tumultuous relationship with the rest of the Sur girls.

Carrera Cafe

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