The pickup at the currency exchange greets – and goodbye – the culinary artists

The pickup at the currency exchange greets - and goodbye - the culinary artists

In October, Tim Williams’ craft cocktail business, Pour Souls, joined the incubator. That same month, Chef Jazer Syed set up his Collective Ventures catering business in the kitchen.

Retreat, created by artist Theaster Gates, is a Black and Brown business incubator. While it has featured coffee roasters Monday Coffee Co. since August, the incubator at 305 E. Garfield Blvd. opened its doors to two more culinary artists this fall.


  • Monday Coffee Co.

  • But by the end of January, all three businesses will be gone. Here’s what’s been happening — and what’s up next — for the culinary artists.

The coffeehouse had a financial adviser giving out free advice for small businesses during a “Small Business Tuesday” event; a Tuesday tax discussion; and different featured chefs every Monday.

With a goal to end the “whitewashing of the coffee industry,” Monday Coffee Co. kicked off its residency with DJs and boozy lattes. But co-founders Amanda Harth and Felton Kizer also made it a place for business advice.

“Coming from marginalized communities and figuring out how can I get access to these resources in these spaces and now that we’ve been blessed to do that, it’s only natural that we are able to do the same for colleagues or people looking for an opportunity to connect or build something of their own in this space,” Harth said.

Harth and Kizer are looking to keep building connections, even as they leave. They’ll be heading to both familiar and new spaces.

Throughout the summer, Monday Coffee Co. spent Mondays “taking over” a Soho Studio at Soho House. But, Kizer said, the members-only social club has asked them to stay. “They saw our passion, they saw the community we bring out,” Kizer said.

The coffee shop operates out of Soho House’s first-floor bar, 113 N. Green St., Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. And it’s expanding into Garfield Park.

Visitors to the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., can catch the coffee brewers with their mobile coffee cart from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. “That’s a totally different vibe and a different space, and I’m really excited to see what the community looks like there,” Kizer said.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times Pour Souls

Tim Williams, founder of Pour Souls (from left), with Amanda Harth and Felton Kizer, founders of Monday Coffee Co., at Retreat Currency Exchange, 305 E. Garfield Blvd. in Washington Park. Monday Coffee Co. will stay at Retreat through January.