Portrait Coffee Co. Fully-Funded For West End Roastery, Cafe

While an exact location is still TBD, the coffee shop's owners look to be operational before the end of 2020.
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Pop-up coffee shop Portrait Coffee Co. is going brick-and-mortar.

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The founders are currently scoping space in West End to house the new roastery and cafe, using a Kickstarter campaign which became fully-funded last week.

Since 2012, two of the co-founders, Aaron Fender and Khalid Smith, worked in the specialty coffee industry and have a range of experience learning how to ethically source and import coffee.

According to Fender, the Portrait team hopes to reacquaint African Americans with their ancestral practice of farming, harvesting and producing coffee as a mode of economic sustainability and cultural continuity.

“The vision is for Portrait to inspire the next generation of aspiring black and brown entrepreneurs while becoming a catalyst for new representation, growth and economic activities in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood, and eventually within the special coffee industry,” Fender shared with What Now Atlanta (WNA) during a phone interview.

“We will be working with coffee importers to source coffee in a fair and sustainable way.”

Now, with more than $30,000 in crowdsourced-funding, the team hopes to open the yet-to-be-determined space by the end of 2020.

Until then, the retailer will contInue hosting educational “pop-up” coffee experiences over the next several months as space is secured and built out.

At least two other Atlanta-based cafes grew roots with crowdfunding.

Koinonia Coffee ATL opened as a crowdsourcing experiment at Westview’s D Café in collaboration between neighborhood transplant Eduardo Lowe and longtime Westview resident and cafe owner Devotis Lee.

A second Koinonia opened in neighboring West End’s Gallery 992 in 2018.

640 West Community Care, owned by Jay White, also has community building roots, as its namesake suggest.

The cafe specializes in healthy breakfast and lunch sandwiches by day, and collobarative event space—including serving as the temporary digs for the famed Apache Cafe—by night. 

Kamille D. Whittaker

Kamille D. Whittaker is an Atlanta-based journalist, editor and researcher.
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