Highlighting Queer-Owned Cafés Across the U.S.: Part Six

South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah are some of our stops as we continue to explore more queer-owned coffee shops across the 50 states!

BY EMILY JOY MENESES
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

This is part six of “Highlighting Queer-Owned Cafés Across the U.S.,” in which we’re spotlighting one queer-fronted coffee shop in each of the 50 states. Check out parts onetwothree, and four, and five of this series, and enjoy this second-to-last installment of this article series.

South Carolina: Azalea Coffee Bar

Walk up to Azalea Coffee Bar and you’ll be greeted by vibrant murals and cozy drinks like the Grassroots, a white chocolate and hazelnut latte. Or try the Open Door, an oat milk latte infused with rosemary and vanilla. Located in Columbia, S.C., Azalea Coffee Bar is powered by women, and the shop also prioritizes sourcing all of their coffee and tea from other women-owned businesses.

The staff at Columbia, S.C.’s Azalea Coffee Bar. Photo courtesy of Azalea Coffee Bar.

South Dakota: Club David

Every June, South Dakota’s Sioux Falls is lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate Sioux Falls Pride—a sign that though South Dakota is one of the most sparsely populated of the 50 states, its queer community exists and will continue to make themselves and their rights known. While we had difficulty finding a queer-owned coffee shop in South Dakota, we wanted to highlight Sioux Falls’ Club David—the only gay club in the state, and one of the best places to meet fellow queer South Dakotans. And for those familiar with South Dakota, feel free to reach out to our editors with any knowledge of LGBTQ-owned cafés in the state.

Cozy views from the bar at South Press Coffee. Photo courtesy of South Press Coffee.

Tennessee: South Press Coffee

Knoxville, Tenn.’s South Press Coffee was born in 2020. After owner Joslynn Fish lost her job during the pandemic, she decided to pursue her dream of creating a queer-centric community space. Joslynn describes the shop as a “place to come and be loved for who you are … a space that affirms that you being authentic is worthy of celebrating.” Aside from hosting open mics, karaoke nights, queer operas, and more, the coffee shop gives back to the surrounding queer community in a number of ways. One example: The coffeehouse raised enough money to fund name changes for 46 trans/gender-nonconforming people in 2023.

Broadcast Coffee beans for sale at Americana Coffee. Photo courtesy of Americana Coffee.

Texas: Americana Coffee

Located in Schertz, Texas, Americana Coffee is known for serving up quality espresso beverages (made with beans roasted by Seattle’s Broadcast Coffee) and an assortment of show-stopping pastries, including vegan scones and conchas. The coffeehouse also regularly hosts pop-ups by San Antonio-based Dewdrop Bakeshop—cue adorable Studio Ghibli-inspired desserts!

An iced matcha latte at Umbrella Cafe, using matcha by Paru Tea. Photo courtesy of Umbrella Cafe.

Utah: Umbrella Cafe

Located in Salt Lake City’s Under the Umbrella Bookstore, Umbrella Cafe serves Apostate Coffee and Queer Wave Coffee. Stop by the bookstore/coffee shop to peruse an incredible selection of queer literature while enjoying your daily cup. 

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.

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