coffee, Baltimore

Black Acres Roastery Brews Up Coffee And Community In Baltimore

Black Acres Roastery coffee is also found in Trader Joe's.

A Black-owned coffee shop in Baltimore is brewing up Black history and culture with every cup they serve. Black Acres Roastery takes its name from Spike Lee’s production company, 40 Acres and a Mule. The coffee shop’s owner, Travis Bell, is a huge Spike Lee fan, and his coffee shop reflects both his respect for Lee as well as the unfulfilled promise of reparations. As Bell told CBS Baltimore, “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 also says that his desire to open a coffee shop was born out of a want for easy access to coffee. This led him to roast his own beans. Since 2018, Bell has ethically procured and roasted coffee beans from South America and Africa, culminating in a contract with Trader Joe’s.

“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.” The shop also has a local delivery platform covering most of the city. Through the platform, orders for coffee deliveries can be placed, and it is in keeping with Bell’s desire to provide quality coffee to his community. 

Bell was formerly an occupational therapist, and before that, he did travel therapy, something which he told CBS Baltimore is a marked departure from what he is currently doing. According to the coffeehouse’s website, its mission is to bring access to quality coffee to all, as well as to build relationships and a sense of community. “Our relationships from producers to customers make us who we are. We believe that making time to engage with one another in meaningful ways is crucial for building relationships and growing communities. We aim to provide an opportunity for all to have access to great tasting coffee.”

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