The Bronx will soon be getting its first coffee roasting room and cafe.
Hector Castillo Carvajal was born in the Dominican Republic and now lives in the Bronx.
He founded the specialty coffee company “Don Carvajal Cafe” two years ago in honor of his grandfather.
Carvajal has had to work with small farmers in several countries, including the Dominican Republic, Columbia and Costa Rica to source coffee beans.
He keeps them in a New Jersey warehouse, roasts them in Queens and sells them in grocery stores around the city and at farmer’s markets in Westchester.
He is set to bring a new facility to his home borough.
A kickstarter campaign got retweeted by CNBC’s “The Profit,” and Marcus Lemonis offered to match him at $30,000.
He was able to meet his goal of $60,000 to open a cafe and coffee roasting space in Hunts Point.
His goal is to educate Bronx residents about the process around making coffee and to inspire younger people to create their own spaces in the area.
“When kids walk past this space, I want to look at it and be like ‘Wait, you’re Hector?'” Carvajal says. “‘I’ve seen you before, oh this is yours? How did you do this?’ And it’s like this is how I did it and you can do it too.”
The space within the area has an affordable housing complex and is used for a mixture of other things, but it was formerly home to the Spofford Youth Detention Center.
“We’re bring equity in a space that was used to marginalize the community,” says Carvajal. “And now we’re taking that space and building equity on the same soil.”
The goal is to have the facility up and running this fall.
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