Meet our Students
Meet Sonja Ziegler
What started as a crazy idea in a business class at MiraCosta College, turned into a business plan for Sonya Ziegler. The Navy veteran, with an entrepreneurial spirit, came up with a plan to open a chain of environmentally friendly, organic coffee shops.
Now one year after opening her first location in a small shop near Brengle Terrace Park in Vista, the business has grown from three employees to eight and from a handful of customers to several hundred a week, while becoming an example of a local enterprise putting sustainable business practices to work.
Sonja is set on making Lush Coffee & Tea a green business with everything from compostable cups to organically grown coffee beans that are locally roasted using solar power.
The idea struck Sonja during a “green business” segment in Professor Christina Hata’s business administration course.
“Professor Hata asked us to research a business that intrigued us, and to come up with a way to fine-tune this business into something that heals the earth,” Sonja said.
“The people around me were in a daily habit of drinking beverages, and I figured with my knowledge in nutrition, horticulture, and business, I could make them healthier and produce them using green practices.”
When she started the business, the shop was open four hours a day; now it is open 12 hours seven days a week with a following of return customers, and plans for future locations in North County.
“We pour in a ton of energy, positivity, and heart,” Sonja said. “It’s about the best feeling in the world to put all this work into the shop and have customers tell us we are doing a good job.”