In Heavy Rotation at Black Coffee NW: Social Impact and Youth Leadership

Tia Ho

In the Seattle neighborhood of Shoreline, Black Coffee Northwest functions not only as a coffee bar and whole bean roaster, but a community hub focused on youth leadership and development. We’re partnering with Fairplay, a program that brings independent stations and local Black-owned businesses together, to celebrate Black Coffee’s impact on our local community. 

As part of the collaboration, we asked Haben Haileslassie, one of the Program Directors of Grounded, Black Coffee’s nonprofit space, about music and social impact.

KEXP: What is Black Coffee’s (single) origin story?

BLACK COFFEE: The purpose of Black Coffee Northwest to me is to have a space where you can see black success and joy. Black Coffee Northwest came to be because of a family who had a vision for equity and staff who share that same vision.

KEXP: You’ve become not just a staple coffee shop, but a community resource. What kind of impact do you hope to inspire?

BC: It means a lot that I've been able to fulfill my passion at my workplace. I've always wanted to do something that would make a difference in others' lives, whether it be big or small. Grounded has given me the opportunity to pursue my purpose by gaining experiences from hosting/tabling events to holiday workshops to speaking in classrooms. The cultural impact I hope to inspire is to show that you can be young, black, and successful. I want to leave behind a legacy that's involved in positive change and making the lives of the people, especially ones who look like me a little bit easier.

KEXP: What local artists are you currently listening to?

BC: Lophiile, DaveB, Choklate 

Use the code "KEXP" to get 10% off your Black Coffee order here

Black Coffee NW’s Heavy Rotation

The founders and baristas at Black Coffee NW, a coffee shop and community hub in Shoreline, Seattle, share their favorite songs for a Fairplay x KEXP collaboration spotlighting the business’s impact on our local community.