North Duke Street used to be home to Respite Cafe, but now, another coffee shop focused on innovation and community is taking it’s place: Kaffeinate opened earlier this week.
Kaffeinate wants to be sure it’s a unique addition with a fun drink selection and use of a local bean supplier that no other Durham shop uses.
Kaffeinate is owned by a local family who’s been in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area since 1994. The father has been a local business owner since that time and his son’s now stepped up to join him in the Kaffeinate adventure. His daughter is currently a PharmD student at UNC-Chapel Hill and also helps with the cafe.
BBC: Why did you want to open a coffee shop in the former Respite Café space?
KAFFEINATE: Most importantly, we were looking to create an atmosphere of community and belonging. The former Respite Café space in Durham seemed perfect, as we’re simultaneously hoping to highlight Durham’s unique warehouse history while also honoring its present-day accolades as an up–and-coming, innovative city. Coffee shops are unique spaces in that they are ideal for creating connections and exchanging ideas. We’re hoping to cultivate that in a historic space that will help display the best the Triangle has to offer.
BBC: Coffee shops are pretty popular in Durham, what makes Kaffeinate stand out?
KAFFEINATE: We embrace local North Carolina history and culture and brings it to your very own coffee table. Focused on creating community through local, sustainably-sourced resources and coffee-centric events, we hope Kaffeinate will become a home away from home – a cozy yet vibrant destination. In our café, you truly are part of our family, and we celebrate you by using only the best ingredients, constantly seeking superior techniques and elevating coffee with innovative, transforming ideas.
BBC: What roaster will be supplying your beans? Why did you pick that roaster?
KAFFEINATE: Our beans are roasted by Stockton Graham & Co in Raleigh. We knew we wanted to keep our roasting local and personal, and at Stockton Graham & Co, we are actually able to access the roastery as needed and check on the process and on our beans. We’re fortunate to be able to feature a roaster that some may never have heard of (yet!) and that shows such dedication and passion to the coffee industry. They’re extremely knowledgeable about both coffee and the coffee industry and are focused on sustainability (just like us). We’re beyond excited to be able to bring you the flavors of some of their best beans like our espresso blend Midnight Lotus in a smooth, milky latte.
BBC: Are there any specialty drinks you’re excited to introduce?
KAFFEINATE: We’ll have monthly drink specials that showcase the creativity of our baristas, like a black sesame latte and honeysuckle cold brew. Stay tuned for some serious treats!
BBC: Will you be serving food at the cafe?
KAFFEINATE: Yes! We’ll be serving Belgian waffles made fresh to order with your option of a signature waffle or a create-your-own waffle menu. Toppings include fresh fruit, whipped cream, drizzles of all sorts of flavors, and much more. We’ll also have various breads and pastries from local vendors, some from names you’ll recognize and others from up-and-coming local bakers ready to bring their talents to the public.
BBC: Tell us about the restaurant’s atmosphere?
KAFFEINATE: We’ve accentuated and preserved the essence of our historic building while also bringing a cozy, Southern home feel. We want everyone to feel comfortable, welcomed, and connected in our space. We’ll have plenty of options for those who are looking to get some work done as well those wanting to get out and socialize.
We’re mostly catering toward the daytime crowd, although we’re not opposed to looking into some late-night options in the future. We’re hoping to bring in people from all walks of life–anyone looking to have a great cup of coffee and maybe dabble in some pastries or a waffle.
Photos courtesy of Kaffeinate
Article compiled by Leah Asmelash, editorial intern with Bites of Bull City