Garfield Park Conservatory now serves food and drink courtesy of a black-owned coffee startup

EAST GARFIELD PARK – West Side residents and plant lovers can now eat and drink while walking through the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Monday Coffee, a black-owned business founded by South Side native Amanda Christine Harth and Felton Kizer, will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the Horticulture Hall of the conservatory, 300 N. Central Park. Ave.

The partnership will last three months to bring long-awaited food and drink options to the region’s most popular attraction. The menu will include hot coffee, espresso, hot chocolate and teas, as well as kombucha and pastries from local entrepreneurs.

Credit: Provided
Amanda Christine Harth and Felton Kizer founded Monday Coffee after noticing a lack of black entrepreneurs in the coffee industry.

Kizer and Harth sought the partnership with the conservatory so that area residents could have more options to eat, drink and connect with others over a cup of coffee in the neighborhood, Harth said.

“Being able to provide a catering option in this area is very important. There are no bodegas. I don’t even know if there’s a Dunkin ‘Donuts, ”Harth said.

The couple started Monday Coffee “as a way to keep people connected by using this everyday drink,” Harth said.

The coffee beans originate from Ethiopia. Today, coffee is cultivated in many countries in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. But still, there are very few black and brown entrepreneurs in the coffee industry, Harth said.

“In the beginning, there weren’t a lot of black-owned coffee companies. We definitely wanted something that represented who we were in something that is essentially part of our heritage. We talk about it all the time with people, where the beans come from, ”Harth said.

Kizer and Harth use Monday Coffee as a way to introduce coffee to people less familiar with the industry. As the company emphasizes educating customers on the roasts, flavor profiles and origins of various coffee beans, the new partnership may allow new groups of people to experience coffee from a way that suits them.

“People come into the cafe at very different stages in their lives,” Kizer said. “I used to hate coffee. But part of it is that I used to drink [bad] Coffee. I had this experience of learning, growing and expanding my palate. So it’s very easy for me to help people with that.

South Siders can also try Monday Coffee products at Retreat at Currency Exchange Cafe, 305 E. Garfield Blvd. Harth and Kizer are in residence at the café until the end of December.

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