Before she and her husband were the co-owners of a thriving trio of Durham coffee shops, Areli Barrera de Grodski was an artist. And if you ask her today, she says she still is.
“We are artists,” said Barrera de Grodski. “Leon was an installation artist before this, and a lot of his artist friends were like, ‘Why did you stop making art?’ And he’s like, ‘I haven’t.’ This is an installation, and this is very much all of our energy and our selves are being poured into these shops. Roasting coffee is an art in itself.”
Cocoa Cinnamon has long since outgrown its origins as a bicycle-borne cafe, but it hasn’t left behind a “bootstrappy” mentality, reporter Frances Beroset writes.
Photo at top by Katie Nelson.