New Shop Updates!

Hi Everyone!

Our landlord and co-tenant Linton Architects have completed their building renovation!  That means that we have free reign to get the shop fitted up.  Coby Linton has been super gracious with us and we’ve got a jump start.

We were out in the neighborhood for West Fest this past weekend and everyone we spoke to was curious about our timeline.  As you probably know from following us, we put a lot into the detail of the shop, working with David Solow art & design and a series of amazing local artists to make Cocoa Cinnamon a unique place that supports gathering together, discourse, and all sorts of activities and people.



Maryah coming up with the red dye for the counter tops really set the stage for so much of what has played out. Beautiful work and thanks to David for chipping in!


The short answer is that we are working at full speed and believe that we’ll finish building some time in December.  In full version, we’ll be open up to more than 100 hours a week, which is quite a large undertaking…so as we finish the building part, transfer into the crew acclamation mode and opening prep.  So we’ve been thinking that opening right at the holidays might not be fair to the crew, who will want to be thinking of their families and friends.  So, we imagine that we’ll have our full opening in early January.  In the meantime, if we are ready, and leading up to a full opening, we are thinking we may open in Beta mode, the way we did with the first location, a bit like a software launch.  It’s more true to us, starting with a heart, testing it and adding on menu items and hours in a testing then building kind of way.  The folks at West Fest liked the idea, which felt good to us.  When there is a chance to come into the shop, you and the neighborhood (many of you are both) will be the first to know.

As you can imagine, we’re super excited to be seeing the details of the shop coming to life.  We are incredibly grateful to David Solow who has supported us as a friend, artist and designer starting in 2001.  Yet again he is down for the count with us on this project and his design, composition and leading of artists is so beautiful.

David Solow art & design works with us to build a kind of living art installation that is the shop.  He works closely with local artists to elicit the best in them, while connecting them to the whole.  In Cocoa Cinnamon – Hillsborough Road David has connected the works, some spilling into the next or playing from and among the others.

Areli had the chance to visit with Duke Association for Business Oriented Women on Tuesday and loved hearing all the passion and entrepreneurial ideas!

Leon gave a talk tonight at The Frontier RTP. Some folks came up and asked about a word I used.  In case you were one of them, here’s some detail:

Entbergen – to allow to unconceal, to let grow while saving its essence, to „let be.“ For the shop this is super important, but we usually only use it as a tool behind the scenes, in training and interviews — for the way we approach finding espresso and coffee sweet spots, for our approach to menu and history, for our desire to invite all of our community, in our way to invite discourse.

From Christoph Schmitz-Scholemann (part in German, part English – full English below).

  • “bergen” ist ein sehr altes germanisches wort und meint to store und to save (retten). Man sollte verletzte personen (unfallopfer=accident victims) “bergen”. the word is a little bit old fashioned in contemporary german, Das Wort ist nicht mehr so oft in Gebrauch, es klingt etwas altertümlich im deutschen.
  • “verbergen” heißt “verstecken” (to hide something).
  • “entbergen” is, as far as i know, heidegger’s invention.  das wort ist in der alltagssprache und auch in der gehobenen sprache de facto nicht vorhanden. it doesnt exist, nobody says “entbergen” and if somebody would say it, nobody would understand, what it means, except people who love heidegger. i dont know really and exactly what heidegger means with “entbergen” but i think it should be quite banal – it’s the opposite to “ver-bergen” that is : to “de-hide”, may be “de-store” , to set free.“

English translation:

  • “bergen” is a very old German word and means to store and to save (retten).  One should save “bergen” a person who is injured (accident victims). The word is a little bit old fashioned in contemporary German.  The word is no longer so often in use; it sounds somewhat outdated in German.
  • “verbergen” means to hide something.
  • “entbergen” is, as far as i know, heidegger’s invention. The word is in colloquial and also in sophisticated speech de facto not available. It doesnt exist; nobody says “entbergen” and if somebody would say it, nobody would understand what it means, except people who love Heidegger. I dont know really and exactly what Heidegger means with “entbergen” but I think it should be quite banal – it’s the opposite to “ver-bergen” that is : to “de-hide”, may be “de-store” , to set free.“


Some images and descriptions of the new shop:


Elijah Leed laid in brass lines to connect to the portolan chart on David Solow’s bar front and Heather Gordon’s history of the travel of coffee upper cabinet painting. Soon to come will be Luzene Hill’s beeswax figures above.


William Lum grew up a few houses behind the shop. He also helped us with our first shop…so we’re super excited he and his crew are making these beautiful pallet benches…as well as a series of hard wood turned stools.


Steve, Pete, David, Brandon and Bryce (not pictured) came out to help Al install the upright railroad tracks for the upright bike rack/privacy wall/sculpture.

history of cacao mural going in cupping room

Areli worked with Cornelio Campos to develop images for his history of cacao mural in our cupping room.

pocketdoor (bottom wood smells like tobacco) glass going in top

Matt of Thompson Joinery built this beautiful door frame, using wood dye that plays off of Maryah Smith-Overman’s red dyed bar tops, uses wood from a downtown tobacco factory (that still smells of tobacco). Soon a piece of frosted glass will be inserted in the top with a pattern that comes from the tile in Areli’s granparents’ house in Tepuzhuacan, Nayarit, Mexico.

We always and are currently taking applications.  Here’s what we look for; if it sounds like you or someone you know, please put one in:

Can’t wait to have you out at the new shop!

Leon, Areli and the Cocoa Cinnamon crew


For the latest pictures of our progress, please check out our instagram feed:

Select press:
News and Observer –
Conscious Company Magazine –
UNC TV – NC Weekend –

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