ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – A new Atlanta coffee shop is pouring a new narrative, according to its owners.
“When most people close their eyes and think of a coffee shop, they don’t think of people that look like us,” said John Onwuchekwa, co-founder of Portrait Coffee. “The founders of coffee, their faces have been forgotten even though the pigment of the drink reflects their own. So, from the time somebody walks in front of the shop — we want them to remember they are very much a part of that historic legacy.”
Founded by six southwest Atlanta residents, Portrait Coffee began as a roastery in 2020 selling coffee worldwide.
Today, the brand has a permanent space in the historic West End, inside the “Lottie Watkins building.” The space was once the office of Atlanta’s first African-American woman real estate broker.
Watkins’ grandson, Samuel Bacote, is proud his grandmother’s legacy lives on.
“People should be thinking to themselves, if they can do it so can I. That gives me a great sense of pride, that they’re here showing others, like my grandmother did, she was here in some ways kind of showing them the potential of business, entrepreneurship, and what can be done if you put hard work into something,” said Bacote.
The owners hope their product is a success and also a platform for good, welcoming Black and Brown communities back into the space of specialty coffee.
A space that, they say, holds possibilities.
“Over a cup of coffee and a space like this people learn to redefine what impossible means,” said Onwuchekwa.
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