Lussi Brown Coffee Bar, a Lexington, Ky.-based café, offers a discount and community hub for the city’s Pride event on June 30.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Lussi Brown Coffee Bar
When the Lexington Pride Festival takes place in downtown Lexington, Ky., on June 30, Lussi Brown Coffee Bar will be in the center of the action—in more than one way. Physically, Lussi Brown is right around the corner from the festival grounds, and will be close enough to witness all the action. But the coffee bar will also be an active part of the Pride movement on June 30—as it is every day—with a fundraiser supporting current and future Pride events in Lexington.
Lussi Brown—which takes its name from the shop’s cofounders, Olivia Lussi and Sarah Brown—has been open in downtown Lexington since June 2017, and prioritizes supporting its community. “We’re an LGBTQ*-owned and -operated business, and many staff of LBCB are part of that community,” says Sarah. “That’s not to say it’s a queer-only space, but it is a safe space for everyone. Allies included. So supporting Pride and Pride Month is important to us—being a part of that community is part of Lussi Brown Coffee Bar.”
On June 30, Lussi Brown will give 10 percent of sales all day to the Pride Community Services Organization (PCSO), the local nonprofit that puts on the Lexington Pride Festival. “The PCSO is a group of like-minded people wanting to make the world better through education, enhancement, and empowering the LGBTQ* community and allies all year long,” says Sarah. “We agree with this movement and want to support it.”
Sarah says Lussi Brown works with PCSO and other organizations on events throughout the year to support the local LGBTQ* community, including the Downtown Pride Crawl in December and selling rainbow-grams as a fundraiser for Pride. “All of these events and meetings show us how necessary it is to have queer-safe spaces everywhere,” Sarah says. “Not everywhere is gay- or trans-friendly. Not everywhere is comfortable for two girls holding hands without being catcalled by men. Not everywhere is OK with gender-neutral restrooms (which we have). We’re still only one of a handful of queer-comfortable coffee shops and bars in our area (though we’re not the only one). And it’s time to change that. Even if it starts with one small, really good cappuccino at a time.”
Also on June 30, Lussi Brown will offer free drinks all day to the committee members of the 2018 Lexington Pride Festival, all of whom are volunteers. While the coffee bar is actively involved in Pride Month and eager to support the June 30 event, Sarah also points out that supporting Pride is not a once-a-year occurrence. “We don’t want to be an annual Pride-supporting place,” she says. We want to be that all year, and continue to give back to our communities the same in June as we will in January.”