More Black-owned coffee shops reclaiming market in Minneapolis

At the Get Down Coffee Company in North Minneapolis, everything from the ingredients to the drink names are taken from Black culture.

Director Of Coffee CJ Porter Born says that's because the shop is trying to bring a different flavor to the local coffee scene.

"We wanted to make a space where access to information and education is a focal point, but also have it be very rooted in Black culture so people of color have a space to come and have coffee like everybody else. Where they can truly feel ownership of," said Porter Born.

The Get Down is one of at least a half dozen BIPOC-owned coffee shops, including Forreal Coffeehouse, Mocha Momma's, Roots Cafe, Makwa Coffee, Flava Cafe and Abogados Cafe, that have opened around the Twin Cities in the last few months.

Porter Born believes the murder of George Floyd caused more people to spend money at Black-owned businesses, which makes it less of a risk for people of color to start a new venture because they know there will be a pool of support," said Porter Born.

"There is a giant focus on supporting things with your dollar now. People are now more aware of that than ever. Since 2020, people have been very supportive of Black-owned businesses for everything," said Porter Born.

Coffee was first grown in Ethiopia and many historians believe coffee cherries were brought by slaves as food when they were trafficked to the Arabian Peninsula before the popular beverage made its way to Europe in the 1600s.

Porter Born says most beans are still harvested by Black and brown people in Africa and Latin America, but the majority of roasters in the United States are white.

"The way to start changing that is by doing something as simple as existing and being a space that changes that narrative on one corner, one cup at a time," said Porter Born.

Porter Born says there's a growing movement across the country by Black entrepreneurs to reclaim their ancestors' roots in coffee's history.

He hopes having more BIPOC-owned coffee shops train the next generation of baristas could lead more young people of color to a brighter future.

"Once you start to see other people who look like you doing the thing you want to do. you are way more likely to actually try to go out and do that. And we need that now more than ever," said Porter Bjorn.