Photo Credit: Unsplash | Karl Fredrickson
Nirvana Soul: Two Sisters Are Opening The Newest Black-Owned Coffee Shop In San Jose
There’s a new coffee shop in San Jose that will serve as a haven for coffee lovers and creatives.
And while there are plenty of coffee shops in town, very few are Black and women-owned.
But Jeronica Macey and Be’Anka Ashaolu is changing that narrative by opening Nirvana Soul downtown.
It’s been a nearly 10-year dream for Macey, who was inspired by her time traveling to coffee shops across the country as a barista, manager, and coffee consultant. With the help of her sister, Macey was able to turn her dream into a reality after a decade of planning.
“We knew, especially with everything that is going on, people needed a space of calm, love, and hope. Every new business owner would be somewhat concerned, but I am just trying to focus on the positive,” Macey told SF Gate in an interview.
Nirvana Soul will be housed inside the historic Sainte Claire building, where Caffe Frascati used to be. The Italian-inspired café in San Jose’s SoFA District was beloved by the community and known as a safe space for artists and creatives during its nearly 11-year stint.
“Caffe Frascati reflects the values and culture we plan to continue at Nirvana Soul,” Ashaolu said. “It’s been a place for artists and coffee lovers alike. When we first envisioned Nirvana Soul, we knew music, poetry, and art would be a large part of the experience.”
The journey was not easy for the sisters who have been transparent about their setbacks.
It’s no secret that people of color get the short end of the stick when it comes to securing business loans from a bank – a setback that the duo experienced firsthand.
“We’d walk into a bank, and just because of the color of our skin, they’d say, ‘No,’ without even knowing if we owned a home and had money,” Macey added. “It took us a really long time to be approved by the Small Business Administration to secure funding, and we got the bare minimum.”
Despite the hurdles, the two have remained steadfast.
Nirvana Soul is a place where you can find peace, restoration and inspiration.
And if you can’t make it anytime soon, no worries. You can order coffee and merchandise online.