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Black-owned coffee shop in Baltimore serves up cultural experience with each sip

<i></i><br/>Black-owned coffee house
Lawrence, Nakia

Black-owned coffee house

By Nicky Zizaza

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    BALTIMORE, Maryland (WJZ) — While many coffee shops dot nearly every corner of Baltimore City, Black Acres Roastery is serving up more than just coffee.

There is a message in its name.

“The name came from Spike Lee, actually,” owner Travis Bell said. “I’m a big fan of Spike Lee, ’40 Acres and a Mule’ film company.”

This Black-owned coffee house on Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore is rooted in Black history.

“Black acres were plots of land in the south that were supposed to be provided for reparations, so that name, the farming aspect of it, the agriculture, just really sat with me, so I felt Black Acres was appropriate.”

Bell said his coffee shop is where coffee, culture and community meet.

Now back to the coffee. Bell says it’s more than just a place to caffeinate.

It’s a space aimed at changing the ordinary café experience.

“Living in Baltimore for about 10 years now, I’ve always wanted to get easy access to coffee, and I thought, ‘What better way than to roast my own?'”

Bell has roasted and sourced beans from Africa and South America since 2018, and he opened a second location in Lexington Market.

“We have a huge contract with Trader Joe’s, so currently, that is our biggest wholesaler right now,” Bell said. “We are in 60 stores across the Mid-Atlantic.”

Bell brewed up the idea and launched it into a career change.

“I was an occupational therapist,” Bell said. “I worked for a private practice here in the city, and before that, I was doing travel therapy, a complete 180 from what I am doing now.”

Black Acres Roastery creates an oasis for coffee enthusiasts while serving up Black history with every sip.

“Every coffee can be roasted in a different way, so just like a steak can be cooked in different ways, people still enjoy the end product,” Bell said.

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