Black Coffee Northwest is planning to open a second location right in the heart of Ballard.
The Black-owned small business first opened in October 2020 on Aurora in Shoreline. Darnesha Weary and her husband Erwin are the creators behind the coffee shop, which is so much more than simply a place to caffeinate.
Black Coffee Northwest has turned into a community hub for Black youth in Shoreline. Beyond serving coffee, the cafe provides youth barista job training programs, after-school study hours, a Black marketplace that promotes and sells Black-owned products, and a weekly youth outreach program called “Friday night Vibez.”
The choice to expand into Ballard was very intentional, Weary told My Ballard, adding that they want to introduce black businesses in areas where there’s a lack.
“Ballard hasn’t been very diverse, and we’re excited to bring that element to Ballard,” Weary told My Ballard. She said they plan to do the same community engagement and outreach that’s made their Shoreline shop such a hub for the neighborhood.
“We want to understand who is there and make sure we are intentional and serving the needs of the community,” Weary said. They’ll bring their internship program to Ballard, providing opportunities for young people who want to get work experience.
Along with internships, the Ballard shop will also host an entrepreneur incubator program for people hoping to build their own businesses.
Weary said they plan to keep the location secret until later this year when they’ll host a scavenger hunt game to reveal the address. They did a similar unveiling with their Shoreline store, offering free coffee for a year for the scavenger hunt winner.They plan to open the Ballard location in January as long as all goes as planned.
“We want to make something beautiful and special for Ballard,” Weary said. “And, we’re excited to bring diversity and black business to Ballard.”
Photo: Black Coffee Northwest