A new café brewing in southeast San Diego hopes to unite locals through activism, art, and educational programs.
Café X: By Any Beans Necessary held its launch last Friday at a pop-up event on Euclid Avenue with live poetry readings, performances, and organic coffee.
According to a media alert for the event, the café is on a mission 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 for underserved and marginalized communities.
“When you start at the bottom, you get to lift everybody up,” said Café X CEO Khea Pollard.
The café is also unique in that all baristas and employees own a part of the coffee shop.
“We do coffee – and that’s about 10 percent of the mission – but 90 percent is community-building and engagement,” said Pollard. “Getting people to build generational, that’s the goal, and to have pillars and businesses in the community that are community-run and owned.”
The co-op café will move into its permanent storefront on Oct. 1 on El Cajon Boulevard. The café will officially open on Oct. 19.
Pollard said her big-picture goal is to build a Café X franchise.
“We want to have different neighborhoods owning a piece of this vision and adapting it to their neighborhoods and their needs,” Pollard explained.
Pollard grew up in southeast San Diego before attending the University of San Diego. She said she always dreamed of doing something important not only for her community, but with her community.
She came up with the idea for the community-focused co-op coffee shop while participating in an urban leadership program called RISE San Diego.
“I saw a need here, in the community that I’m from,” she said.
Building Café X from the ground(s) up has been a long process. To read all about the road to the café’s opening, check out this story published last August by SoundDiego.