One good act, one positive space, can lead to generations of great change.
We have dreamed of owning this sort of cafe for years, but we knew the implications of debt financing in such a start-up situation would create financial pressure on the business. We wanted to start small and experience an organic growth, as this would mitigate risk and give us time to learn the ins and outs of the business. We built a coffee cart in the summer of 2017 and set up in spare dining room space inside a Jamaican restaurant in Dorchester’s Codman Square as a pop-up enterprise. We sold specialty coffee, tea, smoothies, and locally sourced pastries for a year, building great relationships with customers and making great friends along the way. We self-financed the entire operation and continued to do so until the pop-up was able to sustain itself. It took a lot of hard work, but it was sweet to see it flourishing on its own and to gain a glimpse of that organic growth and effect we had been longing for.
We are proud of our initial success as young entrepreneurs, owners of one of a very small handful of Black Owned Independent Coffee Shop’s in the city of Boston.
Now it’s time to expand, to make more room for greater possibilities with Ripple Café. Through Greater Ashmont Main Street’s outreach, we learned of an opportunity to relocate to a permanent home less than a mile away from our initial pop-up, but in a larger, more expansive space, and immediately adjacent to Ashmont Station, a major MBTA transit hub, which serves over 17,000 commuters by bus, subway, and trolley every day. After several weeks of planning, we are excited to announce that Ripple Cafe has signed a three year lease for the cafe space within Eastern Bank in the Carruth Building (1906 Dorchester Ave)!
We are beginning renovations immediately and expect to open October 1. In the meantime, we are receiving logo redesign and branding assistance from professionals under contract with Mayor Walsh’s Boston Main Street program and will also have assistance from the ReStore program to make sure our new signage and awnings meet the high quality standards the location demands. Having the opportunity to move into such a well-suited, permanent retail location after just a year of operation is a blessing and truly exciting.
We look forward to a bright and deeply connected future for our business in Dorchester.
As part of creating the ripple effect we want to see in the world, Ripple Café is committed to:
* Fair trade, sustainably sourced, high quality coffee (Counter Culture Coffee)
* Partnerships with other local entrepreneurs and social enterprises for needed services and products
* Living wage standards for all staff (Boston Hires) and investment in their training and growth, including providing first employment opportunities for local youth
* A welcoming space that allows for extended hours and special events, to serve a variety of the community’s “third space” needs (Eastern Bank)
* Investment in the community we serve, through charitable tithing of the business profits to local civic and non-profit organizations engaged in work consistent with our values.
* Warm service and relationships that sustain our customers during their time in our establishment and beyond
We would welcome your support, as an investment in our vision and our plans for Ripple Café.
Elle & James
Any amount is welcomed and appreciated!
Here are some rewards that goes along with your donations:
Our sincerest gratitude
You’ll receive a free drink coupon
You’ll receive a free RIPPLE mug and free drink coupon
You’ll receive a free baked good, free coffee and RIPPLE T shirt, on us!
You’ll receive a free RIPPLE mug, 12 free coffees
And RIPPLE T-shirt
You’ll receive a free coffee education and brewing class, plus all $200 donar recognitions.
You’ll become a permanent part of our new space, with your name on our appreciation wall and free brewing class. Also a special event dedicated to those whose name is part of our appreciation wall!
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