USC alum opens new coffee shop near campus

Moxie Coffee, which opened its doors last month, is located in Study Hall.

Photo of Dane Wise in Moxie Coffee, located inside Study Hall.

It’s no secret that college students consume mass quantities of caffeine and can often be found camped out at coffee shops to get their work done.

While the neighborhood surrounding USC is home to countless places to grab a bite to eat, there are few options when it comes to coffee shops with space to get work done.

Moxie Coffee is hoping to change that.

The new coffee shop features a welcoming environment for customers with soothing music and rustic architecture that evokes the feeling of a well established neighborhood coffee shop. Moxie Coffee offers a variety of menu options including coffee drinks – like the Moxie Special – and pastries.

Students who have been to the coffee shop have given the drinks mixed reviews, but have raved about the pastries, ambiance and location.

“It’s a great location because it’s not on campus, but it’s close enough, which I really enjoy,” senior public relations major Ruby Fuller said. “It’s also spacious and I think a lot of coffee shops are overcrowded.”

Owner Dane Wise describes the Moxie Special as a brown sugar latte featuring homemade brown sugar syrup.

Wise, a USC alum, opened Moxie Coffee this past August in hopes of catching students’ attention during the busy move-in season. His family owns Moxie Management, a USC student housing company.

“It was kind of just the logical step for me, opening my own business in the same area,” Wise said.

Wise’s business operates out of Study Hall, an already popular spot right near fraternity row, which he hopes will help the coffee shop gain traction.

“This was an opportunity for me. I mean, I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, do things different, disrupt markets,” Wise said.

Wise said the opportunity came after he graduated last May. He said he had a hard time finding a job that suited his passions and interests when, “...the person who owns this restaurant [Study Hall], came to me and said that he was interested in potentially having someone come in and do something – both to drive traffic and also just to do something fun — and do something for me, and give me an experience in starting a business.”

While the coffee shop has been open for about a month, Wise said that it’s still a work in progress.

“I’m still building it,” he said. “It is a pop-up through and through. It’s not something that’s going to be your coffee shop that’s here every single day of the week, all the time, manned by somebody. Right now it’s just me.”

Despite the work still needed to operate the coffee shop full-time, Wise said he continues to find inspiration in USC’s motto: “Fight On.”