Our Story


Executive Chef Marc Chitwood and business enthusiast Nicholas Stoks have teamed up in their first-ever culinary co-endeavor to bring Steel Cup Café to Long Beach, California. With decades of restaurant experience between them, they have poured their hearts and souls into creating a unique space that embodies their shared values:


Steel Cup Café is nestled just outside one of Long Beach’s most traveled hubs, making us convenient and accessible to commuters, students, and local professionals, as well as the go-to spot for those who live in the neighborhood. We offer a variety of treats and pastries, made from scratch and baked fresh every morning, as well as an impressive lineup of artisan sandwiches, colorful salads, and decadent brunch plates.

At Steel Cup Café, we believe that protecting our planet is of the utmost importance, and are proud to be doing our part as an environmentally sustainable business by partnering with local and small-scale farmers, operating the most energy-efficient technology, and refusing the use of single-use plastics in favor of 100% biodegradable, plant-based alternatives.


I am excited to pour my creativity into these new dishes and bring my visions to life. My mentor once told me that I am someone who thinks outside the box—that is my superpower as a chef. I believe that having that sort of innovation adds to the quality and memorability of my food. We live in a world that is so saturated with pre-made, processed and unoriginal foods. At [Steel Cup Café] I have the opportunity to do something different: to bring our customers classic cafe favorites with a fresh twist that will keep them coming back for more. Everything that comes out of my kitchen is made from scratch, every day, and that makes all the difference.
— Marc Chitwood

Marc Chitwood

Chef Marc grew up in Olympia, Washington and discovered his passion for cooking at an early age.

While his mother was at work, young Marc directed his boyish energy into experimenting with food in the kitchen, learning (with trial and error) what flavors pair well, and surprising his mother with his creations when she returned home. Over the years, Marc fell madly in love with creating culinary experiences for others, and later attended Oregon Coast Culinary Institute. Today, with a 12-year career as a professional chef, he still recalls those first feelings of excitement and curiosity when he was a boy, reliving those moments with every dish he creates. Those who know Marc would describe him as talented beyond his years while still boy at heart: a “kid in a candy store” every time he steps foot in his kitchen. His mother, Patti, was his very first customer at Steel Cup Café.


If you asked me to name my favorite thing about Steel Cup Café, I wouldn’t be able to choose. Marc and I have poured so much of ourselves into this project—it’s our baby! But one thing I do really love in particular is our idea of featuring a weekly special. We have some really incredible permanent fixtures on our menu that are sure to be neighborhood favorites, but our rotating menu will allow us to continually create, and that’s when we are really in our element.

Another thing I love about Steel Cup—see, I told you I couldn’t choose just one—is that being socially and environmentally-conscious has been such a consistent theme in all aspects of our restaurant. Among other things, we are 100% free of single-use plastic, and every day, we donate our leftover baked goods to a local homeless shelter. Not only does that allow us to offer our customers the freshest food possible, it also helps us do our part to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste. I’m really proud of that.
— Nicholas Stoks


Nicholas Stoks

Nicholas was born and raised in rural minnesota; one might say he was born to be an entrepreneur.

He grew up in Canby, Minnesota, surrounded by generations of self-made business owners, becoming involved in his family’s many endeavors when he was just a boy. As a teen, Nicholas found that he had an inherent talent for management and leadership while managing his family’s restaurant, though he was considering other career paths at the time. Years later, while pursuing his degree in Biology, Society & Environment at the University of Minnesota, Nicholas revisited his roots when he began managing one of Minneapolis’s trendiest upscale eateries. It was then that his passion for serving others became clear. This led him to change course upon graduation and pursue a career in which he could couple his degree and interest in environmental sustainability with his passions for leadership and service. Although he is no stranger to restaurant management, Steel Cup Café is Nicholas’s inaugural ownership venture.