Last month the Heritage Museum of Orange County inaugurated its speakers' series with a presentation by Martin Dietrich, the founder of Dietrich's Coffee. The theme of the series is how various businesses here in Orange County were created, and how they became successful, and that is exactly the information that Dietrich gave us.
Dietrich was raised in Antigua, Guatemala, where he worked at his family's small coffee plantation. But when he became older, he bought a 1962 Volkswagen bus and drove it north to "make his fortune." When he got as far as Corona del Mar, he happened to meet a man in a gasoline station who convinced him that this was the place to live and work, so that's where he stayed. (Dietrich later found out that he had been speaking to the mayor.)
Dietrich began by selling the coffee beans he brought up from Guatemala in a small shop near the 7-Eleven at Irvine Avenue near Westcliff Drive. But soon his customers suggested that he provide them with some coffee while they were buying his beans, which he did. Later he put in a coffee bar next to Hi-Time Wine Cellars near 17th Street in Costa Mesa, and then about 18 months thereafter he opened his first full-fledged coffee house in Tustin.