Black Business Spotlight: local Black-owned coffeehouse alternatives to Starbucks

Satisfy your coffee cravings and support local Black business

This story from 2018 has been updated in light of recent news that Starbucks has banned its employees from wearing Black Lives Matter accessories, resulting in the trending hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.  Starbucks is no stranger boycotts, however. In 2018, the coffee giant made news when a video went viral showing two Black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks arrested for simply waiting for a client.

So what better time than now to support your local Black-owned coffee shop? Check out some of our suggestions below to get your next caffeine fix. Make sure to call ahead for current operating hours.

Breaking Bread Café & Catering

1210 W Broadway Ave., Minneapolis

Founded by Appetite For Change, this neighborhood gem is a great meetup for coffee along with Southern comfort breakfast and brunch options like jerk shrimp and grits and gravy-smothered biscuits.

Capitol Cafe

2417 E Franklin Ave., Minneapolis

Tempt your taste buds at this Seward neighborhood cafe which offers traditional East African coffee and tea, along with everything from paninis and tandoori to crepes.

Golden Thyme Coffee & Café

 934 Selby Ave., St. Paul

This neighborhood staple has a new location but serves up the same great coffee drinks named after jazz greats, as well as tea and popular items like dirty grits and breakfast noodles.


1500 N 44th Ave., Minneapolis

While technically a barbershop, this Black-owned space has become a go-to spot for style, conversation and specialty coffee from Peru and Columbia.

Limu Coffee

500 5th Ave NW # 109, New Brighton

The coffee plant originated in Ethiopia so we’d expect nothing less than roasted perfection at this Ethiopian-owned business.

Selam Coffee

 3860 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis

Founded by Bilal and his wife Rahel, this coffee staple in the Longfellow neighborhood offers rich Ethiopian coffee, along with smoothies and espresso drinks. Update: The spot will open its doors again on July 1.

Sammy’s Eatery

1101 W Broadway Ave., Minneapolis 

3301 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and grab a sandwich while you’re at it at this new Northside coffee eatery.

The Java Express

214 4th St E. St. Paul

This Union Depot java joint offers a variety of coffees and teas and is also known for its scrumptious chicken, waffles, and grits.

Venture North

1830 Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis

 Both a coffee shop and a bike shop, Venture North aims to engage and empower youth in the community through cycling programs, classes, and employment. They offer organic, locally-made coffee options and plenty of specialty drinks that are sure to satisfy.

Notable mentions:

Gus Dean Coffee — Gus Dean went from veterinarian to coffee connoisseur and business owner.  He prides himself in “carefully roasting high-quality beans,” allowing for a smooth, rich, and flavorful taste. Try him out.

Urban Ventures Coffee This isn’t a Black-owned coffee shop, but proceeds go towards programming aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty in South Minneapolis.

Organo  Save yourself a trip and order this organic gourmet coffee online by local distributor Yvette Turner — coffee that promises to make you healthier from the inside out!

And if you want some tea, try:

Heritage Tea & Beverages — The brick and mortar shop in St. Paul may have closed, but the same tasty teas and beverages can now be ordered online.

Know a business that should be listed? Comment below or email and we’ll update!   Map out your next coffee stop below.

Updated  6/12/2020

13 Comments on “Black Business Spotlight: local Black-owned coffeehouse alternatives to Starbucks”

  1. Breaking Bread is a nonprofit and not a business. They get grants from foundations, corporations and private donors. They do a great work for the community (Youth Pregrams, cooking classes etc.) There revenue is not depended on sales since it does not run a business system.

  2. Hey! Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee in the Harrison neighborhood of North Minneapolis is a Black-non-profit-led coffee & bike shop staffed predominantly by people of color. Redeemer Center for Life created Venture North in 2014 as a full-service bike shop and café that serves up delicious coffee, teas, and fruity drinks, and helps the surrounding community see cycling as a viable option for healthy, affordable and sustainable transportation.

      1. I went to Selam today and looks closed, also website and phone numbers are down.

  3. Golden Thyme Coffee & Cafe moved across the street, so it is no longer at 921 Selby Ave. The correct address is 934 Selby Ave. Still black-owned, still a great-looking menu. Website is here:

    921 Selby Ave is now the home of 2 Scoops Ice Cream Eatery. Black-owned, family-owned. When you stop to admire the wall of fame (Cream of the Crop), ask the manager to point out the photos of her children. They also have a hot food menu. Facebook page is here:

    1. Thanks for the correction, Kate. We’ve updated the story and we’ll look into 2 Scoops a future Black Business Spotlight profile.

  4. The Breakfast Bar of Minnesota at 319 1st Ave. It’s owned by NFL’er Marcus Williams (Hopkins).

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