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Dad and Daughter Duo Open Newest Black-Owned Coffee Shop in Chicago

Robbie Wilkerson and his daughter Destiny have launched Chicago’s first Black-owned coffee business in the city’s Austin area. It’s called Urban Essentials Coffee Cafe, and they want to do good in the community by offering healthier options.

 

The Wilkersons grew up near the cafe’s site and put $65,000 into it. Robbie, who also works as the Westside Health Authority’s youth director, hopes that the coffee shop will enhance the local economy and motivate others to invest in the community.

 

“All these building vacancies to me says there’s not a lot of money circulating within the community,” Robbie told Block Club Chicago. “I’m one man, but it is my effort to create a new economic drive for our community. We hope we can inspire others to build, as well.”

 

Meanwhile, Destiny, a 22-year-old College of DuPage student, manages the cafe’s five staff. The concept for the business arose from a discussion with Malcolm Crawford, the executive director of the Austin African American Business Networking Association.

 

They started developing the space in December of last year, and it ultimately had its soft opening on Juneteenth. They serve coffee, cappuccinos, blended beverages, and tea, in addition to cakes, muffins, sandwiches, and wraps. They intend to improve the cafe’s lighting before the grand opening.

 

With a constant flow of clients from surrounding nonprofits and the religious community, the coffee shop is already enjoying early success. Robbie and Destiny are both enthusiastic about the cafe’s success and look forward to making a difference in their community.

Written by PH

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