Chicago Teen Fulfills Childhood Dream, Launches City’s Newest Black-Owned Coffee Shop – Travel Noire

Photo Credit: Natahn Dumlao

In an impressive achievement, a 17-year-old from Chicago has transformed a childhood dream into a thriving business venture by opening a Black-owned coffee shop, the first teen to own this kind of business in the city. Erin Polk, the visionary behind “Erin’s Cup,” manifested her dream at the tender age of 2. Fifteen years later, her dream is now a bustling reality in Morgan Park.

From conceptualization to design, Erin’s Cup is a product of Polk’s unwavering dedication and hard work. Despite her age preventing her from being at the shop every day, Polk collaborates with her partner, Khale Hunter. He manages operations during the school week, while Polk takes charge on weekends.

According to Polk’s family, her love for coffee was evident from a young age. She has always expressed her incessant requests for a cup of coffee. “We’ll get Erin a cup, we’ll get Erin a cup. And there is how ‘Erin’s Cup.’ She wanted a cup of coffee at a coffee house,” her mother, Heidi Polk, told ABC News Chicago.

Despite being open for just a month, Erin’s Cup has already garnered a loyal customer base. The De La Salle Institute honor roll student expressed her commitment to creating a close-knit community within the shop, stating, “If you come here, we’ll know you by name. Everybody is very close-knit, it’s like family right here,” she told ABC News Chicago.

Favorite Drinks

Regular customers have found their favorite drinks at this Black-owned coffee shop. Some love the macchiato, lemonade refresher, and chai tea, while Hampton favors the hazelnut coffee while others choose the drink of the month, a peppermint mocha.

“Here we have a budding young entrepreneur. This is what our community has cultivated, prayed for, and worked for,” Alderman Mosley told ABC News. “Mosley is a customer who frequents the coffee shop.”

Polk, who encourages others to take the first step toward their dreams, stated, “I’m telling you, as soon as you take that first step forward, it’s going to be so rewarding.”

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