Café X

‘By Any Beans Necessary': Café X Hosts Long-Awaited Grand Opening After Pandemic Struggles

Owned by mother-daughter duo Cynthia Ajani and Khea Pollard, the Black-owned coffee shop was set to open in 2019 but once COVID hit, the pair were forced to move to an online model

NBC 7

After moving their business online due to months long pandemic restrictions, Café X: By Any Beans Necessary, is finally getting their long-overdue grand opening.

The café celebrated its grand opening in Sherman Heights Monday with live music and lots of coffee.

Co-owned by mother-daughter duo Cynthia Ajani and Khea Pollard, the Black-owned coffee shop was set to open in 2019 but once COVID hit, the pair were forced to move to an online model.

NBC 7's Monica Dean introduces us to the mother-daughter ownership team of Cafe X, who described how the pandemic forced them to get creative.

Ajani says although the business moved online, they continued to sell, plan and network with community-based organizations. They even developed the shop's signature house blend while their business operated virtually.

Ajani told NBC 7 the coffee shop has received lots of support from the Sherman Heights community.

"Café was designed to be a community engager. A lot of networking goes on and a lot of new friends are made. That's what it's all about, the networking and getting that ecosystem moving," Ajani said.

Café X intern and high school senior Betsy Valncuelia says, "Café X has helped me grow as a person. I want to open my own coffee shop, so it's taught me everything about business management, from the coffee bean to the coffee cup."

Owners Ajani and Pollard say their mission is to “start a movement of healing and communal wealth-building for communities of color.” The café plans to tackle its mission by hosting events and educational programs to support the community.

They also work to develop the next generation of leaders to generate a social, cultural and economic movement that changes the quality of life in San Diego communities.

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