Opelika couple opens Black History themed coffee shop

Melanin Café, a black owned coffee shop in Opelika, is celebrating black history year round.
Opelika couple opens Black History themed coffee shop
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 9:25 AM EST
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Melanin Café, a black-owned coffee shop in Opelika, is celebrating black history year round.

Owners Jay and Catrice Hixson told News Leader 9 that the shop has been open six months and is an all inclusive space for people of the community to come and learn about black history - all while enjoying a nice cup of coffee.

According to the Hixsons, everything from the art on the walls to the names of items on the menu celebrate black culture.

”I wanted to dig into the people behind the scenes, the people we don’t know about, the events we didn’t know about and so I wanted to educate people on those things. Do my research on it, because when we know better we can do better,” said Catrice Hixson. ”So I would pick a person that I didn’t know about or I would research different things and what I would do is look at what the person did and I would come up with a name that correlates to what they may have done.”

Hixson said the idea was always something she wanted to do since working as a barista in college.

She says as a kid she would learn limited information about black history and she hopes the shop will help educate the community about black history. Now, back in school studying full-time to receive her doctorate in biology from Auburn University, she told News Leader 9 she wouldn’t be able to juggle it all by herself.

“We always try to preach balance, and with her being a full time student also opening a coffee shop, it helps that she has a support system,” said Jay Hixson.

Catrice added, “We kind of switch who opens so, maybe two weeks at a time I’ll come in and I’ll open up, he’ll take the kids to the school and then come in.”

Regina Townsend, a customer who frequents the business, says she comes in to the shop every Saturday.

“I think it’s needed, there’s a lot of people who don’t understand black history,” said Townsend. “I think this is a great place and it’s great for Opelika too.”

The shop is open Tuesday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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