We didn’t start out as a coffee company. Chris Pendarvis, the passionate and involved founder of Naked Coffee, got his start as a general manager in 1996 at the Mission Café, a small breakfast joint in San Diego. After growing the café, then being offered a partnership, he instead decided to forge his own path and open his own independent business.
Chris opened the Domain Café in Palm Springs in 1998, spending several months behind the counter and working side-by-side his staff. His daily commitment and effort paid off, and after a successful year a friend offered him the opportunity to start a full-service restaurant in Chico. After selling Domain and moving to northern California, he began collaborating with the chef and previous owner of the Mission, Isabel Cruz. Together, they developed an Asian-Latin-inspired menu of American staples for the new breakfast restaurant.
In the fall of 1999, the Sin of Cortez opened in Chico, with Chris himself present nearly every day, in the front and in the kitchen, ensuring his restaurant’s success. After six months, he took a step back to draft a business plan for a long-time passion of his: to open a shop selling vintage, unfurnished furniture with customizable art and design options.
In the summer of 2000, the Naked Lounge Bare-Metal Boutique opened in the heart of downtown Chico, but it turns out there’s little demand for expensive furniture-as-artwork in a college town. Relying on his restaurant and café experience, Chris ended up closing the business, remodeled the boutique, and in February 2001 reopened our first coffeehouse in the very same space, the Chico Naked Lounge.
Serving the first true specialty coffee in Chico, Chris worked behind behind the counter every day alongside his growing staff. This is when Naked Coffee truly got its start, where a small, dedicated group of people got together to craft a product to our own high standards, yet still reflecting our own individual personalities.
Within the year, we decided to expand in specialty coffee, and on a road trip through Sacramento we discovered a burnt-out husk of an historical Victorian. In February 2002,Naked Midtown coffeehouse opened on 15th and Q in the up-and-coming Fremont Park neighborhood. Realizing we could improve the quality of our coffee by simply roasting it ourselves, in 2003 Chris learned how to roast coffee and built Naked Coffee Roasting in an old hangar at the Chico airport. From this facility, and while running multiple businesses in two cities, he roasted every small batch himself and distributed coffee to all of our locations.
In Spring 2004, Chris moved to Sacramento, and by October we opened Tupelo, our third coffeehouse, in East Sacramento. Soon we discovered and bought a run-down auto repair shop in an historic part of Sacramento, spent several months remodeling, and moved Naked Coffee Roasting to Oak Park on Broadway. With our focus on growing specialty coffee in Sacramento, we sold the Chico Naked Lounge and later the following year we sold the Sin of Cortez. The new owner of the Chico Naked Lounge has since moved on to found their own successful coffee roasterie, and the owner of the Sin of Cortez still operates it today, with Naked still roasting and delivering quality coffee to them every week.
We expanded into El Dorado Hills with another coffeehouse, Habit, in 2007. Unfortunately, timing and distance worked against us and within two years we sold the failing location. We refocused, and opened the Naked Downtown coffeehouse on 11th and H in the spring of 2009. By the fall we added the accompanying Live Music Venue where local acts could have a cool and intimate place to play music five nights a week. In the same year, we were approached with an opportunity to bring quality breakfast back into the Naked family. While building our new coffeehouse and music venue, we remodeled an old café in East Sacramento, updated a familiar breakfast menu, and opened the doors of Orphan Breakfasthouse in September.
In following years, we overhauled each of our locations and renewed out commitment to doing what we want and doing it well. We remodeled our coffeehouses with new seating, new artwork, and new top-of-the-line equipment. We invested in an apartment complex in Oak Park and made it exclusively available for our staff to rent. We developed a Master Roaster to take over the roasting duties, devoting themselves to experimenting and perfecting coffees for all of our wholesale accounts. And in 2013, we revitalized NakedCoffee Roasting & Cafe in Oak Park, creating a cafe space with a new custom built San-Franciscan coffee roaster as the centerpiece.
In December 2013, we expanded our offerings beyond coffee, beyond breakfast, and into specialty cocktails, with the opening of Arthur Henry’s Supper Club & Ruby Room on Broadway. A vision in development for over three years, we purchased and renovated the abandoned Primo’s Swiss Club to create a full restaurant and bar, complete with apartment housing above.
Today, Naked is still growing and making our mark on Sacramento, always on the lookout for opportunities and partnerships where we can bring our excellent coffee and way of life into the community. Enjoy a cup of coffee, a side of pancakes, or an old fashioned. It’s what we do. We do it well. And the people you’ll meet are exceptional.