Life at Cocoa Cinnamon


While enjoying a pourover at the Geer St. location, I get to meet people of all different walks of life from all over the world... and I love it! It seems to be the place where people talk about meaningful ideas. I overhear a lot of ‘how are we gonna make a difference?’ conversations; and for a socially conscious entrepreneur like me, that's the equivalent of candy for my ears.

Co-owner Areli Barrera de Grodski has a passion for community that really shines through whenever we speak. Their community coffee program offers coffee to anyone who may not be able to afford it on a sliding pay scale, which I believe strongly reaffirms that love for building community. And they happen to source some pastries from one of my favorite bakeries, the East Durham Bake Shop, so they get even more brownie points (trying to make a good baking pun...fail?).

Cocoa Cinnamon’s sense of outreach is amazing. With three unique locations throughout Durham, offering unique drink specials particular to each shop (and churros at the Lakewood location!), Cocoa Cinnamon feels like a piece of the core of this great city.

This is the first coffee shop I went to when I first visited Durham, and I owe several of my best friendships to meeting people here. Even the layout encourages people to connect.

The vibe at Cocoa Cinnamon and the welcoming people I met were actually small catalysts that affirmed our desire to move to Durham in the first place.

On our first visit here, our family met a lovely human while grabbing our cappuccinos. After some great conversation, our new friend said, "If you ever move here, you’re welcome to come over and have dinner at our place”... I'm not sure if they expected us to take them up on the offer, but we reached out when we got here and our families have been close ever since.

Cocoa Cinnamon is a wonderful coffeehouse and community space. There's no other way to say it other than to say that this place, with its great people, warm atmosphere and chique aesthetic, is just very ‘Durham’.


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