Tonight 7 to 9 at W Geer, Beats N Bars Fest is doing a free popup show in support of their Kickstarter! The have a local anonymous contributor who will match all contributions up to 5 day in these last couple days! Will you join us in supporting them? If you contribute $45 or more during the popup you can get a free drink from our menu while you're there.
A little context on why these kinds of events are so important to us:
December 14th, 2010 Areli and I started Cocoa Cinnamon LLC.
By late summer 2011 bikeCOFFEE was coming to life. Via bikeCOFFEE many of you got to know us and participated in helping make Cocoa Cinnamon real...you know this story as you took part in it.
During our 6 1/2 years in business, thousands of folks have taken part some in small ways and some in large.
Tomorrow we'll be getting our health inspection at Cacao Canela (Cocoa Cinnamon) at 2013 Chapel Hill Road! There we'll add the final piece to our puzzle. The Lakewood location will have a slimmed down, true to our spirit, espresso, filter coffee and drinking chocolate menu with fresh churros served hot for dipping in coffee and chocolate for breakfast or dessert. We don't yet have an opening date, but we anticipate it to be in July. When we open, we'll have about 40 total living wage employees who represent a beautiful diversity of the Bull City. We also currently have 13 fluent bi-lingual English/Spanish speakers, with several other languages in the mix and more to come with the opening.
None of this would have been possible without you.
There is a lot of talk among all of us on the way that our city is growing. In many ways, lots of exciting and beautiful things are happening. There are also trends that many of us have serious concerns about the city becoming too one dimensional and all that goes with that. We believe that participating in local and diverse projects based on creating opportunity and arts across our city can help. Really if you give an artist a dime the community gets a dollar's worth in return.
A couple of our friends, folks who do good work that helps make our city the way we hope it to be are running Kickstarter campaigns right now. If you would like to keep our city diverse, one of a kind and awesome, please take a look at their pages and contribute if you can.
The two projects are:
1. Beats N Bars Festival -- this one is co-run by John Laww aka The Real Laww (yes he has a cc drink named after him). He has been part of CC starting with volunteering to knock walls out with a sledge and his huge biceps at the W Geer shop in 2012. He recently helped us again at the Lakewood location.
2. Nadjib Adebola Assani is a kind and incredibly talented illustrator, 3D modeler and artist who just hit his minimum goal and is going for a stretch goal to turn his book into an animated film. Check it out...you'll be happy you did.
Here's what our close friend Brandon Hoe of Helium Cine (another awesome Bull City project that started via Kickstarter) said in support --
"Durham has an incredible sense of place. It's a smorgasbord of different races and cultural influences, all contributing to make this city diverse and interesting. I decided to stay here after graduating from grad school at Duke, primarily because of the richness of the city's inhabitants and its scrappy, rough-around-the-edges feel. I felt that it reflected me at the time - it had raw potential, but was extremely unpolished - an unhewn gem. Diamonds, in their natural state, are bland looking minerals. They gain their aesthetic beauty through the meticulous cutting and polishing they undergo. In the hands of the best gemologists, each of the resulting facets reflects light with perfect geometry - sending the beams to other facets to enrich them, and to cast light back onto itself. It is symbiosis and self-adulation, all at once, but ultimately all facets gain, and the whole becomes infinitely more beautiful. We have the opportunity to help shape this diamond we call Durham and make it richer and even more brilliant. We can do so by helping to polish those facets that are sometimes overlooked. The Beats N Bars Festival is one of those facets. On the surface, it's a local hip hop music festival, but it represents far more than that. It's an opportunity to celebrate and invest in Durham's diversity, a chance to add another cool event to the growing list of fun stuff to do in Durham, an opportunity for rising musicians and more established ones to gain a larger audience for their craft, and an economic engine that will allow the local business community to benefit from increased patronage. At a microscopic level, it's about two people busting their asses to create something much bigger than themselves, not for themselves, but to put this beautiful city on the map. I know anyone can dig the story of the underdog, so if all the other Durham-pride stuff doesn't resonate with you, then maybe that will. I love this place I call home. I love people who have the gumption to imagine and pursue something larger than themselves. I love helping others achieve their dreams. I've contributed, and I hope you'll consider doing the same. Even a couple of dollars moves them closer to making this real. ��"
You, our Kickstarter backers know more than most that we started Cocoa Cinnamon with what started with next to nothing. You all were a key element to getting us going. We are within weeks of getting our building inspection for Cocoa Cinnamon - Lakewood, which will make the final piece of our puzzle. We will be roasting our own coffee and at this space be making fresh churros always served hot. With this third location, we will be employing up to a total of 40 people with living wage jobs. We've been working hard these last years and are incredibly grateful for this amazing city in which we live and work and we are incredibly grateful for you. Part of our business model has been to return the kind of support that we have gotten and through these past years, we have been able to contribute about 6% of our profits each year, to creating opportunity for young people in need across the bull city, homegrown arts and festivals and other independent business startups.
So many of you have been with us through this path. Today, we're thinking of one person, in particular, who has always been there for us. JOHN LAWW...you might know him as The Real Laww. He's our friendly neighborhood super artist.
John Laww is an incredible hip hop artist, with an amazing voice, an incredible upbeat attitude and he brings goodness everywhere he goes. If don't know him yet, look him up...you'll see. Here's one of his videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AplfJY7nxF0
The sledgehammering is just one example, but it shows he's been down for the count with us in the most selfless amazing way for years.
He and his partner Crystal are putting on the Beats N Bars Festival this September. It's a one of a kind festival that could only be from the Bull City. We know lots of y'all love our city and want to keep it one of a kind...want to support homegrown talent, want to keep it from losing its sometimes wacky always one of a kind vibe and beyond that want it to be more equitable, more diverse, more and more awesome. Well, that means we have to step behind the amazing artists who, when you give them a dime, will create a dollar for our city. Laww and Crystal are those folks...so please help spread the word and give back to them what they have been putting in.
If you want to go to the festival, go to their link and get some tickets now.
If you are short on cash, just put in $1 to show support and still spread the word.
If you want to support them and can go full force and drop a bundle.
Thanks for checking out their page and for helping us spread the love that has been shown to us all these years.
Here are some Cocoa Cinamon - Lakewood shop updates
Today we passed our fire inspection....and in the next several days we'll have our final on electrical and plumbing, then comes the building final! After that comes prep for the health department and then we can do some pre-opening sessions. If you'd like to take part in that be sure you to join the email list from our website.
Finally here are some photos of our progress at CC - Lakewood, which is located at 2013 Chapel Hill Road. All three of our locations are designed with the never ending love, support and extraordinary artistry of David Solow of David Solow Art + Design.
Linton Architects is the architect and contributed to design and deep consulting on the second and third locations.
Hey Y'all. Hope you all had a relaxing and comforting Thanksgiving.
We've started Demo on the Lakewood shop, churreria and coffee roastery and will be posting more updates on our website (via our cc email list) and social media as it goes! As you can imagine we're very excited about getting going on this location and roastery.
We also wanted to let you know about Green ToGo a local Kickstarter focused on sustainable to-go, a place where we can all have a huge impact. Will you support their Durham-based effort? It's being run by some awesome dedicated folks. Check it out here:
First we would like to highlight Professor Toon, an incredibly talented Bull City Hip Hop artist who has been part and contributor to CC since before we opened...so much so that we named the Toon Up after him -- it's an espresso over iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk and raw sugar.
Toon is so talented, so hard working, a beautiful dad and he is ours. A Bull City Artist, who's been putting in the dues (This past weekend he was in Wisconsin working with Bon Iver). Let's step behind him together! PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD AND COME BY AND GET A TOON UP!! Perfect for this hot weather and perfect for supporting an amazing artist who represents what we love about the Bull City! L
--MENU AT HILLSBOROUGH ROAD
We now have a full menu at the Hillsborough Road location with about 40% of the drinks being unique to that location. It includes everything from a pour over with chocolate, turmeric & ginger inspired by Malala Yousafzai to an iced seltzer with espresso, local honey, cardamom and maca after my Great Grandfather Francesco Fontana who lived for 10 years in Tunisia. We'll leave the rest for you to explore.
The final piece of news is the biggest!
We will be opening a micro-roastery and final retail location at 2013 Chapel Hill Road across from Lakewood Shopping Center. We've had a lease agreement there a good while now, but our second location took longer than expected and we wanted to get the Hillsborough Road shop running well before moving to the next and final step. Now that all is humming on Hillsborough Road, we have begun work on the micro-roastery (that will follow a kind of Fullsteam model) which will supply our three locations with our own coffee as well as continuing to enjoy guest roasters. The three shops together will be three parts of a puzzle that make one cohesive whole.
The third location will let us supply coffee to ourselves, connect more deeply with producers and also create the income to improve the quality of the workplace and profession that we have been building.
We are designing the Chapel Hill Road location to gel with the feel and diversity of the Lakewood neighborhood. The design of the shop itself will be a bit more akin to a Mexican feel, where quality and the hand is present. Last year, while visiting family, we went to a place around the corner from our Tia Nenna's house in Guadalajara that is a touch point for inspiration. And some elements of the trip Areli and I were just on in the Mediterranean will connect too.
This location will have a menu that plays out of the histories of coffee and chocolate and supports the addition of made to order churros!
We'll be starting upfit in the near future! We're really excited to embark on this final step in building Cocoa Cinnamon. It has been in our sights since we first started dreaming up Cocoa Cinnamon back in 2010. Lots of support, hard work, love, an awesome team, friendship and you have all helped us get there. We appreciate your love and support.