Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Four Unique Coffee Shops

All independent, city-based, minority-owned, neighborhood cafes.

There’s more to life than Starbucks.

Just take a stroll in your neighborhood and you will see entrepreneurs are opening their own cafes and coffee shops.

Here is a list of some that are owned and operated by persons of color.

Shindig Coffee. Photo by Ana Martinez Ortiz.

Name: Shindig Coffee

Owner(s): Maanaan and JoAnne Sabir
Operated: Since November 2018
Location: 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave. (Inside the Sherman Phoenix)
Shindig Coffee Facebook
“It’s not just coffee, it’s a place to commune,” said JoAnne Sabir.

Sabir said that Shindig has become a part of the community and a place where people come to share their stories. As co-owner, she noted that it goes beyond serving people coffee. Rather, Shindig is able to educate people, offer employment and support. Sabir said she hopes Shindig Coffee is seen as a beacon of hope for other entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Milwaukee.

Name: Coffee Makes You Black
Bradley and Laurie Thurman
Since 2001
2803 N. Teutonia Ave.
Coffee Makes You Black
“This was an isolated spot, and we turned it into a destination spot,” said Bradley Thurman.

Thurman has always been interested in coffee shops and after retiring from the fire department, he and his wife, Laurie, decided to open one. A lot of the struggles in opening a business have to do with the issues concerning the central city, Thurman said. There’s a lack of capital and therefore opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start a business here. Thurman noted there’s been some progress made with organizations such as the Bader Foundation. Currently, the Thurmans have plans to expand the third floor of Coffee Makes You Black.

Rise & Grind Cafe. Photo courtesy of Rise & Grind Cafe.

Name: Rise & Grind Café
Baboonie Tatum and Larina Hightower
February 2018
2737 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
Rise & Grind Café Facebook
“People come in for coffee, but it’s more about community,” said Baboonie Tatum

Tatum said that Rise & Grind Café’s regular customers come for the sense of community and the family feel the café offers. On Saturdays, during brunch, the café operates as a pop-up shop for local entrepreneurs and creatives. While it’s been a struggle at times, Rise & Grind Café plans to open a new location in Villard Commons in November and to expand its business model to incorporate a travel agency, karaoke, live performances and more.

Manhattan Mocha. Photo courtesy of Manhattan Mocha.


Name: Manhattan Mocha
Randy and Rekina Walker
Since July 2019
7600 W. Capitol Drive
Manhattan Mocha Facebook
“The reason I opened my coffee shop was the community,” said Randy Walker.

Walker said Manhattan Mocha has a homey feel to it and customers feel like they’re drinking coffee at their own kitchen table. In addition to having quality coffee, Manhattan Mocha has one-on-one relationships with its customers.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

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