8 questions with VendiBean owner Teal Cooper ☕

Teal’s goal for the brand: Enhance people’s daily lives with high-quality coffee, whether in the office, colleges, hospitals, or on military bases. | Graphic by SDtoday, Photo provided by Trainual

We’re partnering with Trainual, an onboarding and training software for small businesses, to highlight a local female entrepreneur who has found success using the platform. See how Trainual is changing the game when it comes to leveling up the people and the processes that keep these businesses running smoothly every single day. 

Profile: After realizing how impossible it was to find a high-quality cup of coffee inside the workplace or on-the-go, Teal Cooper and her brother, Tristan, came up with a solution: VendiBean. They reinvented the coffee vending machine, which is stuck with a reputation of dispensing gross coffee, and instead created a machine that dispenses a barista-quality cup of joe.  

We asked Teal what advice she has for other entrepreneurs, what makes the San Diego business community special + her go-to coffee order.  

Q: What got you interested in the entrepreneurial journey and starting your own business?

A: Growing up, both of my parents were very entrepreneurial. I didn’t understand what that meant at the time, but they instilled an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit in me from a young age. 

In college, I remember not really excelling at any certain subject or feeling passionate towards any type of class or career. It wasn’t until the idea of VendiBean came about during my junior year that I felt, for the first time in my life, a whole-body-consuming passion and desire for my calling of being an entrepreneur. In college, my brother, Tristan, and I saw a massive need for high-quality coffee conveniently located and open 24/7. 

After graduating we saw a massive gap in the office coffee space as well lacking high-quality solutions teams truly loved. We realized how archaic both industries were and used our fresh perspectives to solve a need we passionately felt was lacking. 

Q: What are some of the most important characteristics a leader can have? 

A: A great leader is someone who has the ability to see someone’s strengths, understand what lights them up, and how to fulfill their purpose in order to contribute to their personal self-growth. 

Other important characteristics of a good leader are great communication skills, someone who can align their team on expectations, excitement, and passion for their overall company vision.

Q: What makes San Diego’s business community special? 

A: San Diego’s business community is special because of how small and close-knit it feels when in reality it is pretty extensive. The business community has always been so eager and generous to offer help, suggestions, or advice during times of need.

Q: Who are the local movers + shakers you’re watching? 


Q: Describe your perfect day in San Diego. 

A: A perfect day in San Diego would be to start my morning in Bird Rock, grab a coffee at Bird Rock Coffee, walk to Calumet Park with my dog, stroll around the neighborhood for an hour, and meditate at one of the rocks overlooking the water.

Ideally, it’s sunny and 78-80 degrees outside, so I would bike my beach cruiser to the beach, bring a sandwich and a book, and spend a few hours at the beach swimming in the ocean. I’m currently learning how to kite surf so once I am good enough to go alone, this would be added to my perfect day. Finish the day with dinner with friends, stimulating and deep conversations, preferably at a new restaurant we have never been to that has a happening vibe and delicious food. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What advice would you give to women looking to start their own business?

A: The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to take each person’s advice with a grain of salt and listen to your gut above all. Your intuition knows best. 

My biggest piece of advice to women starting their own business: Our beliefs create our reality. It is so important to become aware of and reprogram any subconscious limiting beliefs we have before starting our own business. If everyone can start this process before starting their business, then it will help prevent blocks and allow things to attract and flow better with ease.  

Q: What is your biggest challenge? Reward? 

A: My biggest challenge is finding and hiring the right people for my team. My biggest reward is feeling so aligned on our vision with a team who each excels in their own zone of geniuses that differ and offset the founder’s skillsets.     

Q: What’s your go-to coffee order?

A: Coconut cortado from the VendiBean machine.  


What is the best piece of business advice you’ve received? Let us know here.*