Awake Cafe and Community Space
Organized by: Awake Cafe and Community Space
EVENT DATE Nov 12, 2017
About 2 years ago, we were sitting at a local bar commiserating about graduate school over a cold beer. On that night, we discovered a shared interest in what we each thought was a pipe-dream: creating an inclusive space where all individuals can experience a comfortable coffee shop ambience. Through networking, researching, and talking to other community members, we have been overwhelmingly supported and encouraged to carry out our vision.
We are working hard to take the next steps in our journey of opening Awake Cafe and Community Space, and we are now ready to reach out to you, the community, for help. All donors will receive a personalized thank you card and your name will be listed in the shop! We will be making custom screen-printed tote bags in exchange for all donations of $50.00 or more. Those who donate $500.00 or more will be forever remembered through a menu item named in their honor.
PHASE 1 - POP-UP CAFE
To start, we have been given an opportunity to host pop-ups with a like-minded community-oriented space in Sacramento, Sol Collective. We have agreed to partner with this non-profit organization and hope to host our first pop-up at the Collective this Spring.
Equipment needed for pop-up cafe:
- Pachamama coffee beans (locally roasted beans from a farmer-owned cooperative- check them out!)
- 2 temperature-regulated electric kettles
- 2 pour-over brewing devices
- Disposable cups and filters
PHASE 2 - PERMANENT CAFE AND COMMUNITY SPACE
This is where things really get exciting. Awake Cafe and Community Space will serve midtown Sacramento and offer a combination of services and benefits no other business currently offers: quality coffee, delicious food and a dedicated safe space for community organizing and networking, especially for marginalized or non-conforming populations who are particularly in need of protected spaces (i.e. women, LGBTQ identifying individuals, people of color, and political and social activists). While a location has not yet been determined, the ideal neighborhood of Awake will be carefully selected so it is easily accessible via bike lanes, public transportation, as well as by foot and vehicle. We have been in touch with a local real-estate expert who is helping us find the perfect location.
This is a huge undertaking that we really believe will be well worth our efforts, but we can't do it without community backing. After collecting data and doing market research, as well as meeting with a business advisor at the local SBA Women's Business Center, we have put together a spreadsheet of expected costs. Of those costs, we are asking for help with the following items:
- Pachamama coffee beans
- Espresso machine, grinders, batch brewing machines
- Refrigerator and ice-maker
- Tables, chairs, and building-materials
- Mugs, to-go cups, lids and sleeves
- A fair living-wage ($15/hour) for our employees
If you would like to hear more about Awake Cafe and Community Space, would like to offer feedback, or if you would like to donate to the cause, feel free to send us an email at Awake.firstname.lastname@example.org. We love you and appreciate your support!
Melissa & Jess
B.S., Psychology, 2010, University of Mary Washington
PhD, Quantitative Psychology, 2017, UC Davis
Melissa was raised in a family of entrepreneurs. Her parents opened a restaurant in Massachusetts with extended family in 1981. The restaurant continues to be a favorite local restaurant in 2015. Her father also started his own business in the early 80’s. His cleaning company has been successful in the greater Boston area, and he currently serves as a property manager for several properties as a result of his business success. Melissa went to school for Psychology and earned a PhD at the University of California, Davis. She is currently a professor of quantitative psychology at Sac State. As a member of the LGBTQ community herself, she has been an active member, attending awareness workshops and volunteering with the local Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, for example. She is a two-time scholarship winner at the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Foundation. Melissa has lived in the Sacramento area for five years and has been a resident of midtown, Sacramento for more than three years. She consistently involves herself with the local community and is continually educating herself about the current needs of different communities in midtown.
Melissa’s training in quantitative methods and predictive analysis will be an asset to the business with regard to marketing, finances, and general company forecasting. Melissa also has a total of 6 years of experience in the restaurant business.
B.S., Women’s Studies, 2012, California State University, Sacramento
M.A., Behavioral Science & Gender Equity, 2016 California State University, Sacramento
Jessica is California native and has lived in Sacramento for nearly nine years. She has spent some of those years living in East Sacramento, and over the past five years has fallen in love with her Midtown location. Jessica is currently finishing up a Master’s program at California State University, Sacramento. She is earning her MA in Behavioral Science & Gender Equity. Her educational background is a clear indication of her dedication to understanding marginalized communities and where resources need to be accessible. Her specific interest in supporting queer women of color has sparked her enthusiasm for a cafe and community space that targets minority communities. As a queer woman of color, Jessica regularly attends events hosted by the Sacramento State Pride Center as well as other Sacramento LGBTQ events and also often travels to San Francisco and Davis to participate in LGBTQ events. Jessica’s personal and professional development is important in helping to facilitate political activism and community participation that addresses imbalances in the surrounding area.