Issa Rae is taking her entrepreneurial endeavors to new heights. The creative visionary recently opened the fourth location for her community-driven collective of cafés Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, Forbes reported.
The beloved coffee shops were cultivated as safe spaces designed to foster creativity and connection. Since it opened its first location in the heart of South Los Angeles, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen has emerged into a community gem. Rae joined the ownership team in 2019 when she helped open its Inglewood location. The Insecure creator co-owns the business with entrepreneurs Yonnie Hagos and Ajay Relan. The new location is nestled in the heart of Downtown LA. It’s housed in a historic building along Hill Street.
Rae says she’s excited to build yet another space where innovators can tap into the power of creativity. “Downtown LA has such a rich history of creativity and resilience,” she shared with Forbes. “We are excited to share the Hilltop experience with the dreamers and doers of the local community.” Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen currently has locations along Slauson Ave., La Brea Ave., and Eagle Rock Blvd.
After opening the Inglewood-based café in 2019, Rae shared that the mission behind the project is rooted in the importance of representation.
“I’ve always wanted a coffee shop in my neighborhood. Coffee shops facilitate productivity in so many ways, they facilitate collaboration,” she told Eater. “I’ve personally have done all my writing in coffee shops. So, it always disappointed me that there weren’t any that were Black-owned (or) people of color-owned in my neighborhood. Now to have the Inglewood location I was just immensely proud because it’s home. I just feel like it’s so important to have these spaces where you feel safe where you can be creative, and have a sense of comfort. To know that it’s your space.”
Black entrepreneurs are leading a coffee shop renaissance in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times reported there are more than 20 Black-owned cafes throughout the city and Orange counties.
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