We conclude our series spotlighting one queer-run coffee shop in each of the 50 states.
BY EMILY JOY MENESES
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Featured photo by Allison Saeng via Unsplash
It’s been several weeks since we first began this series, and what a journey it’s been! This is our final installment of “Highlighting Queer-Owned Cafés Across the U.S.” Read on to discover LGBTQ+-fronted coffee shops in Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Vermont: Upper Valley Coffee Truck
Who doesn’t love a good coffee truck? Operated by Upper Valley Coffee Roasters, the UV Coffee Truck can be found serving handcrafted drinks throughout the Upper Valley area of Vermont and New Hampshire. Follow the coffee truck’s social media pages to find them at farmers markets, festivals, and more.
Virginia: Riverbend Roastery
Located in the heart of Richmond, queer-owned Riverbend Roastery has a story steeped in history. The roastery began as a bakery in the early 1900s, and today it continues to serve lovingly crafted drinks and house-made pastries to Richmond’s community.
Washington: Squirrel Chops
Seattle is known around the world for its coffee scene, which means the bar is set high for all cafés within the Emerald City. Located in Seattle’s Central District, Squirrel Chops lives up to the city’s hype. Functioning as a hybrid hair salon and coffee shop, the café regularly hosts community events like drag shows, Pride Month happy hours, and more.
West Virginia: Lost River Trading Post
When an old feed store in Wardensville, W.V., closed down in 2013, couple Paul Yandura and Donald Hitchcock jumped on the opportunity. They bought the space to create Lost River Trading Post, a community space that would function as a coffee shop, art gallery, and home goods store. Visit the shop to enjoy house-baked pastries and locally roasted coffee as you explore wine, organic local foods, and locally crafted furniture, pottery, paintings, and more.
Wisconsin: Black Cat Cafe & Gallery
Self-described as a space “where the weird and the wonderful are celebrated,” the Black Cat Cafe & Gallery is Stoughton, Wis., is a space where all “black cats”—anyone who feels on the outside of society—can finally feel at home.
Because owner Ali has celiac disease and is lactose intolerant, the coffeehouse is also completely gluten-free and lactose-free. Stop by the shop for quality coffee, small bites, and fun events like art workshops, food tastings, and more.
The city of Laramie has a dark past in regards to queer safety and rights (rest in power, Matthew Shepard). The town has since become one of Wyoming’s most queer-friendly cities, earning a Municipal Equality Index score of 72 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign—higher than the national average. In 2015, the town became the first city in the Cowboy State to pass an ordinance protecting queer citizens from discrimination.
We had some difficulty finding information on queer-owned coffee shops in Laramie and the greater state of Wyoming, but want to spotlight havens like Coal Creek Coffee & Tap, as well as The Grounds Coffee Lounge, both of whom have participated in Laramie Pride festivities.
While there’s still much more work to be done to uplift the queer community within the States and beyond, this series has been a reminder that queer people exist in every corner of the world. We’ll continue to fight for a world where there are more and more safe spaces for them to not only exist, but to thrive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Joy Meneses (she/they) is a writer and musician based in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include foraging, cortados, vintage synths, and connecting with her Filipino roots through music, art, food, and beverage.