Contributing Artists

420 WEST GEER STREET location

Shop arts and design concept, implementation and much much more
website : design notes
Tree to table tesla inspired bar tops
website : design notes
Front room floor painting
website : design notes
Outdoor restroom shelf, retail shelves, wood upper cabinet facade
website : design notes
Fixins station/cabinet of curiosities, glass/brightleaf coffee table, led team on building and finishing outdoor tables
design notes
Made an amazing hundertwasser inspired mirror
website : design notes
Metal fabrication/Sculpture, production advice and tool usage
Design consultation, metal fabrication. Without him this wouldn’t have been possible.  We just call him St. Al.


BLAINE JOHNSTON : Built curved upper cabinet
CICI STEVENS : Table top art installation
DON PONCHO : Built curved brick walk and other brick work

LEE MOORE CRAWFORD of Lee Attracting Birds and Bees: does ongoing flower arrangements for both locations : website

AMY GODFREY : Seating Visual  “La Loi, C’est Moi” : website

JIMMY CHALMERS: Built with Leon and Peter Katz our behind bar upper cabinet.
TOM DAWSON : Building bike racks inspired by cocoa pod/coffee bean also started off welding for bar frame, developing more ways to make site green
JEREMY PARKER : beautiful front room curved bench
NICOLE HOGAN : led a team of folks to screen print our Kickstarter t-shirts and make our packs
MADELINE JAMES : Worked with Areli to produce Kickstarter packs
MARK KOZMA : Made our beautiful mugs website
JENNIFER COLLINS-MANCOUR: refashioned front canvas


MIKE DAWSON ELECTRIC : Did electric but also lent tools and more : website
RUNNING WATERS PLUMBING : Tim Peck and Alejandro
DANIEL AYALA : Lent tools and led concrete pour for sidewalk
DANIEL WEGERZYN : Put in doors, simple elegant solutions
WILLIAM LUM : Lent us his wood studio for finishing outdoor tables and lent us his flatbed truck
REVIVAL TRIM AND FINISH : Steve Baskin, construction consulting : website



David Solow & CC won Preservation Durham award for Best Adaptive Reuse and Best Renovation from Downtown Durham, Inc. for his work as shop designer – David we really couldn’t do it without you! Photo by Preservation Durham


Artists and Craftspeople:

David Solow of David Solow art + design — Designer, Site Specific (shop) Installation Artist, Producer, Barfronts, Cocoa Cinnamon would not be possible without David’s ability to draw out, design and orchestrate a one of a kind place. His friendship is what drew us to Durham starting back in 2001. His contribution is great and part of what makes CC unique.

Coby Linton of Linton Architects – Building Designer, Architect, Landlord, Neighbor

Al Frega of Frega Creative – railroad track structure for front bike racks, railroad truss planter bases, friendship and support.

Maryah Smith-Overman  — made the red bar tops throughout the shop, as well as the magical realist busing station and “ladder/shelves”. She also built the upper cabinet along with Blaine Johnston.  Built a meandering shelf sculpture to work with Jonathan Hunsberger’s memory phone.

Art Knowles of Word of Mouth Carpentry – Upper bar mahogany and wenge with hand made inlay depicting stellar/subatomic universe of energy and fixings station tree (coming) made of wenge and ambrosia maple.

Heather Gordon — Upper cabinet mural made of Heather Gordon signature design using the geo-coordinates of a history of the travel of coffee. The points are in Western Ethiopia, Yemen, Mecca, Baba Budan (India), Java (Indonesia), Amsterdam, Paris, Martinique, Brazil, Durham.

Elijah Leed of Elijah Leed Studio – built the two large table tops, four bench seats, and eight small table tops in the shop. They are oak treated with vinegar and steel wood and inlaid with brass lines and dots. The brass lines are a part of a portolan chart that ties into the one on David’s barfronts, intersecting with Durham and the place in Ethyopia wheEthiopian humans first originated. The brass dots are part of the map of the night sky at the autumnal equinox above Cocoa Cinnamon and tie into two of Luzene’s figures, who are part of the same map. Elijah also built the retail shelving unit and all of the shelving in the shop, except for Maryah’s “ladder/shelves”. Elijah was also responsible for the cutting and installation of the FSC certified cumaru for the outdoor tables, benches and planters, with help from Leon..

Art Knowles of Word of Mouth CarpentryArt Knowles of Word of Mouth Carpentry made the mahogany and wenge upper bar with inlays of dozens of different woods in hundreds of pieces depicting the bending of time and space in the stellar/sub atomic universes of energy. He made the tree with cave and tree house at the fixins station going through the upper cabinet and up into the rafters, refering to Coby Linton’s Lace Bark Elm in the courtyard. Artie also made the “tree” shelving unit in the bathroom.

Andrew Preiss of ARP Design Studio – Andrew Preiss of ARP Design Studio made Cocoa Cinnamon and Linton Architects’ signs. He also made the bases for the Elijah’s large table tops and bench seats. He made the hefty steel shelf brackets. He also built the steel frame structure of the outdoor benches, tables and planters.

Blaine Johnston of Red F Studiospretty much the wood Macgyver. He helped build the upper cabninet applied the bar front panels, among other things.

Cornelio Campos – history of Cacao mural in the cupping room

Luzene Hill – Fifteen daughters of Lucy (AL 288-1) inspired star inspired beeswax figures.

“Fifteen daughters of Lucy (AL 288-1.) – natural beeswax , plus cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and paprika for pigments.

In 1974, when the remains of “first woman” were found in Ethiopia the Beatles’ song, “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” was being played over and over at the archeaological camp. By the following day after her discovery, everyone in camp was referring to her as Lucy.

The Amharic people in the area called her Dinkinesh, which translates “you are marvelous”.

Each figure, representing the diversity of people in Durham, is unique, yet connected to the originating Lucy figure, as they scatter across the space.   This scattering mimics the dispersion of food and goods, as well as the migration of people, around the world.”

William Lum of Lum Shop – Shipping Pallet benches and layered hardwood stools (coming)

Esar Aadil – selection and design with Areli for Frida Wall

Lety AlvarezLety Alvarez made the two “pathway” paintings (bright colors, patchwork pattern like an aerial view of a landscape) on door panels panels on the Frida Wall.

Candy Carver – paintings inspired by “love for excitement, color and beauty found in the human form.”

Mark Cool – railroad tie sculptural wall (with Frega Creative) for upright bike racks

Jim Kellough made a painting on an old school map. The painting is a map of the east coast of the U.S. with Durham on the very edge of the lower left side. The “ocean” gives rise to the amygdala floating in a sea of neural connections. That’s what you get when you ask Jim to make a work about history.

Ade´ Ohmade the multimedia pieces on the door panels on the Frida Wall, with dirt, wire, metal among various other materials.

Andrius Benokraitis – sight and sound support

William Lum & Stevie Bear of Lum Shop made the pallet benches out of wood from old pallets. They have made one stool out of ten for the alcove area.  The stools are made by layering many different woods. The basic shape of the stool refers to the spools of thread at the Erwin mills.

Jackie MacLeod made the mirror in the restroom, combining cast iron found objects and sections of copper plate that she created different patinas on.

Jonathan Hunsberger altered and telephone from 1940 (about the time the building was built). When one dials certain combinations of numbers, different recordings play. There is a notebook for participants to share information about which combination of numbers yield particular recordings.

Joanne Andrews is in the process making hand-builtl pots (using colors and geometry that relate to the patterns inside the shop) for planters for the outside area. She has made two already.

Jonathan Nyberg of Meadowsweet Gardens is designing and planting our landscape out front (including Joanne’s pots) : website


Coming Works:


Amy Godfrey : Seating Visual  : website

Joe Galas will be making the double swinging copper doors to the dishwashing area.

Chuck Pell will be installing more of his geo-historical objects installation throughout the interior and exterior spaces, inculding some arranged as a cabinet of curiosities in Maryah’s bussing station area.

Andrew Preiss  will make and install a musical instrument/sculpture.

Saleem Reshamwala of Kid Ethnic will be doing a video installation : website

John Schelp is loaning historic photographic postcards of old West Durham to be photographed to have large prints made and have them installed in the bathroom.

David Solow will be photographing and making large prints of John Schelp’s postcards.


Craftspeople/Inner Workings:

Mike Dawson Electric – Loyal, honest character of an electrician.  AKA “Lightening Mike.”

Rik and Patty Meijer of RPM Homeworks — Epoxy work, insulation, rigging, sign and shelf installation. Incredibly helpful and fun to work with.

Thompson Joinery  – made the turquoise banquet and the blue pocket door with wood from American Tobacco (supplied by Al Frega), installed the painted panels in the bathroom and Cupping Room and did the dying and finishing of all of the retail shelving unit, the banquet and all of the shelves and interior trim. They installed the interior trim, and finished the bathroom wall, Cupping Room Wall and bar fronts. Steve Baskin provided some assistance.

David Preiss – shopbot cutting of banquette backing

Tim Peck and Alejandro of Running Waters Plumbing