Paying tribute to a legend. Following Kobe Bryant’s untimely death in a helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, a California coffee shop is honoring the basketball phenom with some creative and moving latte art.
Immigrant Son Cafe, which is located in Ventura, Californa — approximately an hour north of Los Angeles — has only been open for about a month, but it quickly earned a reputation for printing images on its caffeinated drinks. Shortly after Bryant’s death at 41, customers began requesting a photo of the former Los Angeles Lakers star in their beverages.
“To be honest we can not take a lot of credit for the Kobe Bryant thing,” Immigrant Son Cafe owner Alessandro Tromba told FOX 11 on Thursday, January 30. “We credit our customers for thinking of that because they started sending in picture dedications of Kobe to our machine.”
According to Alessandro, his business uses a device called a Ripple Maker, which burns an image of your choice into the latte foam by sending it to the machine via an app, in order to craft the heartfelt creations. “What really struck me is that we get charged every time we use it and that gets passed on to our customers. They are paying to do images of Kobe Bryant,” the businessman added. “And I do not mean one or two, we are probably near 100 of them.”
In addition to solo images of Bryant, some customers have been asking for a photo of the athlete and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, who also died in Sunday’s crash. The aspiring basketball player was 13.
Kobe and Gianna were two of the nine passengers aboard the helicopter that went down in Calabasas, California, on Sunday. The other passengers — Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan — all died in the accident.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office confirmed the identities of Kobe, John, Sarah and Ara using fingertips in a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday, January 28. The coroner’s office confirmed to Us the following day that the other five victims of the crash, including Gianna, were also identified.
Vanessa Laine Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother, made her Instagram account private following the accident, but made it public again on Wednesday, January 29, and spoke out about the tragedy for the first time. “My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” she captioned a family portrait with Kobe and their daughters Natalia, 17, Gianna, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months. “Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”
Vanessa, 37, added that the Mamba Sports Foundation had created a new fund to provide resources to the families of the victims.
“To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org,” she wrote. “To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️.”Listen on Spotify to Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!