Waking Up Just Got Easier with New Burbank Coffee Shop Three Sisters Coffee

There’s a lot to be said about fairy tale endings. But you don’t often hear about happy beginnings. That’s the promise at the heart of a new Burbank coffee shop opening its doors on a caffeine-deprived stretch of Magnolia Boulevard. Christened Three Sisters Coffee, it even sounds like something from the minds of the Brothers Grimm. But while there are occasional “witchy” accents, you won’t find any Big Bad Wolves or Rumplestiltskins between sips of signature lattes and Vitalitea. This wholesome sanctuary instead vows to give your day a happy beginning served with a familiar smile. 

A New Chapter

It was in October of 2021 that the tale of Three Sisters Coffee begins. At the time, it was just an idea shared by a couple who wanted to bring warmth and joy to their community while spending more time with their family. “I’m most proud of the process,” admits owner Kristen Sagona, thinking back to that fateful October. “It took two years of persistence. But we’re here. And it’s our family business.” 

The Right Place at the Right Time

Looking around Three Sisters Coffee, you feel like you’re in someone’s living room… maybe even your own. Comfy chairs and a quaint couch invite you to bring over a mug and a laptop or book. Warm lighting sets tables aglow as old friends catch up and new friends are made. Amidst the morning bustle, you’d never guess that the spot spent decades as an auto upholstery shop.

“It took 12 dumpsters to get everything out,” marvels Matt Sagona, Kristen’s husband and business partner. It was Matt’s father who had owned Sagona’s Custom Upholstery in a building he purchased sometime in the 1960s. After his father’s sudden passing in 2001, Matt’s family leased the building to a former employee of Sagona’s Custom Upholstery. But when the lessee had to let go of the rental during the pandemic, Matt’s family found themselves with one building and several options. 

three sisters coffee is a new burbank coffee shop on magnolia

It was around this time that Kristen’s family were selling their own business: Burbank’s Pickwick Gardens. While both sides of the family were saying goodbye to significant chapters of their past, they recognized an opportunity to build their combined future. With investments from Kristen’s family and Matt’s mother, along with their own savings, the couple took a chance on breathing new life into the old Sagona’s Custom Upholstery building. After all, there were plenty of coffee shops on Magnolia, but none near this particular stretch. And thus Three Sisters Coffee continues the family’s heavy involvement in their Burbank community. 

Coffee and Community

But why coffee? “It’s not so much a passion for coffee,” explains Kristen. “It’s a passion for serving others. I care about the individuals I’m serving.” But, as Kristen’s middle daughter Lily explains, the family does have a long history with coffee. “My family has always had coffee around me,” beams the accomplished barista, who works with her parents and older sister at the Burbank coffee shop. “I remember drinking out of my grandfather’s espresso cups as a little girl.” 

Kristen also has a history with JohnHart. Until recently, she served as our campus office’s dedicated barista, fostering a sense of community that fit right into JohnHart’s ideals. It was a bittersweet moment when she left to start Three Sisters, but our agents and staff alike are ultimately excited to see her living her dream. 

former johnhart barista kristen sagona started three sisters coffee in burbank

The Family Behind Three Sisters Coffee

While working with family likely has its challenges, none of these are apparent when walking through the door of Three Sisters Coffee. Kristen describes her working relationship with her daughters as distinctively authoritative, but adds that there’s “more friendship and respect, because I’m proud of the young women they’ve grown into.”

She names her oldest daughter, Danielle, as her right hand woman. She’s the first of the “three sisters” that give the Burbank coffee shop its namesake. Described by her mother as “easy-going”, she can often be found with a friendly smile managing the scene behind the counter with her boyfriend helping out nearby.

Kristen’s middle daughter, Lily, is the most accomplished barista among the sisters. As knowledgeable as she is confident, she has no reservations about correcting her co-workers if she sees room for improvement. Lily has also recruited friends of hers to work as baristas slinging some of the best coffee in Burbank. 

sagona family opened their own burbank coffee shop after decades in the community

The youngest sister, Skylar, is a self-professed “pre-barista.” While she’s still too young for official employment, she pitches in around Three Sisters, cleaning up, stamping pastry bags, and keeping her family company. But she also has big aspirations of one day creating her own “peanut butter latte”. 

Besides being a proud father and husband, Matt handles Three Sisters’ accounting. Having worked most of his life in the demanding entertainment business, Three Sisters offers him a perk he’s never found in his career: more time with his family. 

A Familiar Aesthetic

The welcoming modern yet rustic decor was a collaborative effort. Matt mentions that his mother, a skilled decorator, helped bring some of the Burbank coffee shop’s visual aspects to life. Aiming for something similar to her own home, Kristen alludes to a certain “witchiness” to some of the more pastoral nuances; an aesthetic that recounts hints of the cottagecore movement. But above all, she aims for an instantly familiar atmosphere. Lily, a veteran of Burbank coffee shops concurs, stating, “I worked at other coffee shops and they didn’t have the same vibe as us. We’re more family oriented.”  

Finding Your Happy Beginning on the Menu

With so many options for coffee in Burbank, Three Sisters Coffee needed a menu that stood out. And perhaps this is best conveyed by their signature drink: the Three Sisters Latte. An early favorite among patrons, it delights palettes with an elegant blend of rose and lavender. 

Another crowd pleaser, The Irishman offers a sweet start to the day with Irish cream and chocolate drizzle amplifying a classic mocha. “It’s a bigger hit than I anticipated,” admits Kristen. 

Amidst the signature drinks is one that was inspired by one of our very own Marketing Managers, Ejmin. Designed for rocketing you into a busy morning, the Fire combines an eight ounce Red Bull with two espresso shots. “He wasn’t a big fan,” Kristen laughs when recalling Ejmin sampling the drink. “But my customers enjoy it!” 

For those looking for a more natural morning motivation, Three Sisters makes their own blend of in-house energy drinks called Vitalitea. Served on ice, Vitalitea utilizes a blend of hibiscus, guarana, ginseng, and damiana with a spritz of seltzer water for its distinctive kick. 

Thinking Beyond the Burbank Coffee Shop

It’s still early days for Three Sisters Coffee. Yet, the Burbank community seems to have already enthusiastically embraced the Sagona’s new venture. And Kristen is already dreaming of expanding to more locations around Burbank, Orange County, even out of state. Her former JohnHart clan is rooting for her. After all, the world could use more happy beginnings.

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