OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) – Melanin Café, a black-owned cafe in Opelika, celebrates black history all year round.
Owners Jay and Catrice Hixson told News Leader 9 that the store has been open for six months and is an all-inclusive space for community members to come and learn about black history, while enjoying a good cup of coffee.
According to the Hixsons, everything from the art on the walls to the names of the dishes on the menu celebrates black culture.
“I wanted to dig behind the scenes people, people we don’t know, events we didn’t know about and so I wanted to educate people about those things. Do my research on that because when we know better, we we can do better,” Catrice Hixson said. “So I would choose a person that I didn’t know or I would research different things and what I would do is look at what the person did and I would find a name that matches what she was able to do.”
Hixson said the idea was always something she wanted to do since she worked as a barista in college.
She says that as a child she would learn limited information about black history and she hopes the store will help educate the community about black history. Now back in school to study 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 on her own.
“We always try to preach balance, and since she’s a full-time student who also opens a cafe, it helps that she has a support system,” Jay Hixson said.
Catrice added: “We’re sort of changing who opens so maybe two weeks at a time I’ll come in and I’ll open he’ll take the kids to school and then come in.”
Regina Townsend, a customer who frequents the store, says she comes to the store every Saturday.
“I think it’s necessary, there are a lot of people who don’t understand black history,” Townsend said. “I think it’s a great place and it’s great for Opelika too.”
The shop is open Tuesday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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