4 BIPOC Coffee Shops You Must Visit

This week’s edition covers stories 
from December 15th to December 21st, 2022.

Today’s issue is 1100 words, a 8.5minute read.

In today’s edition Isabella and Helene talk 4 BIPOC Cafes you must visit and 3 Local print houses and publishers!

Continue reading to find out more…

Happy Winter Solstice! 

Isabella here. Our first blizzard of the year is here and they say it’ll last until Friday, even Saturday in some areas of the Midwest. Be careful out there and drive safely but stay home if you can. I’m not too excited about the snow, but I’m still on cloud 9 about Argentina winning the world cup! For those who haven’t heard, Argentina became the FIFA World Cup 2022 Champion last Sunday, after they played against France ending the game 3(4)-3(2). “Dale campeón, dale campeón!” 🇦🇷

For those celebrating Christmas, I hope you’re ready for this weekend and receive at least one very special gift from a loved one. If you’re still looking for a gift, check out issue 232 of NewPrensa which highlights about Primitiva Collective, a boutique of collaborative, local, BIPOC and female led artists in Uptown Minneapolis. And happy Hanukkah, too! 

17oz Flava Way Mug in its vibrant colors from Flava Coffee & Cafe 📸 Flava Cafe Instagram

I’ve explored the Twin Cities in these past couple of weeks, in search of great BIPOC coffee shops to go to this holiday season. Here are 4 BIPOC coffee shops in the Twin Cities you must visit: 

1. Flava Coffee & Cafe – 623 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 

This cafe will strike you with its bright and vibrant colors from the moment you walk in. Flava builds “community through coffee and creates opportunities for young women of color and gender expansive youth by propelling them from coffee to career.” The cafe’s founder Shaunie Grigsby makes way through her shop to embody this mission through professional and personal impact with all the supportive experience that she has. At their shop they offer comfortable seating, a selection of must-read books and an amazing menu of coffee, teas, smoothies, and “The Eats” (a breakfast and lunch menu). Personal favorites are Nina Simone (espresso, dark chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate sauce) and Bell Hooks (espresso, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon). To eat, try the Two Fridas Bowl (corn, black beans, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, sliced avocado & chipotle sauce) and the Miss Thang Bowl (country potatoes, sautéed veggies, scrambled eggs, shredded cheese and a meat or alternative of your choice). 

2. Abogados Cafe – 1053 Dale St. N, #102, St. Paul, MN 

This Latino-owned law-themed coffee shop offers the Latin American coffee experience in the Como Park area. The owners, Ofelia and Inti, are two Hondurans with a passion for coffee and law. It’s unique and original and, guess what? Their coffee is delicious. Their coffee philosophy is that it is organically delicious, ecologically sound and passionately sustainable. From medium to light roasts, Abogados cafe focuses on the aroma, flavor notes and body of the coffee. They have a special Christmas menu with drinks for $8! Try the Sanction Clause mulling spice lawtte (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger), the Rudolph Law safe eggnog lawtte, the Chilling Effect (white-pepper minty mocha), and Hot Pursuit (chipotle hot chocolate). 

3. Sainaa Cafe – 317 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN

The Oromo coffee shop offers customers to come inside and enjoy the meaningful Ethiopian act of “communal bonding” through coffee. Sainaa is the Oromo term for “come inside” and “memories”. Making memories through coffee and pastries at Sainaa can be the ideal spot for you and your loved ones this holiday season. The cafe works with local dairies and bakeries to source fresh coffee and the best savory and sweet food options. Personal favorites are the Masala chai, Cappuccino and the Danish. 

Lake and Bryant Cafe interior with lovely seating and fireplace to enjoy delicious food and coffee 📸 Lake and Bryant Cafe Instagram

4. Lake and Bryant Cafe – 821 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN

A NewPublica favorite, this coffee shop has made its place in Uptown Minneapolis. Coffee sourced and roasted by them, they offer an array of flavorful food and drinks. Sanjeev Azad is their “Chefrista”, who has 15 years of culinary experience in over three continents and has worked for the past 17 years with coffee in Central and South American countries. They focus on breakfast and lunch foods, providing a “comfortable, affordable, and approachable” space. The drinks and food are special, carefully selected to surprise and satisfy visitors. Personal favorites are the Down to Earth coffee (house made saffron and rose syrup), the Made For Each Other coffee (with cardamom and vanilla), or the Delicate Dance Latte (with fennel and peppercorn). The Steel Cut Oatmeal, the Tofu Scramble-Garam Masala, or Shakshuka (egg baked in zesty tomato sauce, mozzarella, smoked paprika, olives and a side of bread) are must haves. 

The cover of Issue 4 of “Mollyhouse”, the literary magazine released by Squares and Rebels publishing 📸 Squares and Rebels website 

Helene here! I realized recently that I know very little about the small publishing scene of Minnesota. It feels important to me to know a bit about, because much in the same way of indie film and music, the art and literature that comes out of small publishing houses is often more candid, more subversive, and more exploratory than mainstream counterparts. I was listening just the other day to a short video of British artist Phyllida Barlow on Art21 talk about how she views art that is never seen or under-seen:

“The novel that never got published. Should it never have been written? Of course it should be. It’s making a fantastic contribution to culture of the moment because that individual has that huge urge to do that without any other qualifying pressures” 

Now, this doesn’t apply directly to the question of small publishers. It does tell us that even art that is not received by the masses is good, valuable, and should be out in the world. And so, we arrive at the importance of the small publisher. I think it’s safe to assume many of us may not know these local publishers. I certainly didn’t! Here’s some I found especially interesting, but if you want to read more about others I didn’t mention, visit this website

  • Paranoid Tree Press is a subscription-based micro press, whose mission “is to build a sustainable micro press that pays contributors.” Somewhat rare in the small-zine world, they’re building a community that compensates artists for their work to curate a culture based in aid and honoring the importance of artists contribution. How does it work? You subscribe and then once a month you will receive a paper zine with a single micro story or prose poetry. The zine folds open to reveal a poster. 
  • Squares and Rebels specializes in highlighting the voices of the LGBTQ+ experience in the Midwest. On their web page is a list of current publications, both poetry and prose fiction. They also have a literary magazine that focuses on the same things as the print house called mollyhouse! I had the chance to read through their most recent edition (which is available for free on their website), and loved it. It’s a wonderful collection of diverse queer voices! 
  • Living Justice Press is a (from their about page) “nonprofit organization whose purpose is to publish and promote alternative works about social justice and community healing”. They are working to publish the voices of those “in the struggle” for justice. You can find their books available for purchase here


That’s all from us this week!

Isabella, Helene, and the whole NewPublica team wish you very happy holidays! 

Hi, friend: Isabella and Helene here! 
We’re Communications Specialist by day and wishing you happy holidays by night!

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