Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Morebucks

there's this really good coffee joint called AJ JAVA, right on the corner of NE 42nd and Prescott. up until the last couple months, i've passed it by with this snobby attitude, comparing them to starbucks Morebucks. oh, Morebucks, the king. i think it was the drive thru option that enticed me to try it a few months back. and then something changed in me when i saw real neighborhood people working and chatted with the owner, a black woman who could have been a friend of mine,and now i'm hooked. and, their coffee is really, really good, even better than morebucks. trust me, they're definitely not paying me to say this, but they're worth your while, and they have free wifi. don't let the cheesy yellow and red painted building deter you. "Morebucks" and their "Buy an image with your coffee" is lackluster now in my book.

i never thought much about supporting local businesses, or specifically black ones until recently. i mean, we've got the freaking Gentrification crap going on over in the hood, which in my opinion might be great for Portland in general but the attitude over in the 'hood' reeks now of This is OUR territory now, you____ blacks... which royally sucks but, i guess it's always been that way with people with money. to hell with black people. we want THAT neighborhood. we'll fix it up nice, make them feel out of place (maybe inadvertently, maybe not), and enjoy ourselves.

i guess i'm rambling and ranting on. but back to the coffee place, it just feels nice to give my coffee money to someone black. to hell with the morebucks-image buying. it's just an illusion anyways.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should always prefer local businesses over national chains - if all else is equal.

More money stays in the local economy when you spend it at a locally owned business. That is good for schools, roads, parks, other businesses, and employees - all right where you live.

But don't shop at local places that suck, and don't shop at national places just because they are comfortable. Shop at the business that does the best job...

But swing locally if you can...

Marilyn said...

42nd & Prescott?! Dang! That was my neighborhood for five years! (Why did all the good stuff go in after I left...) That's great news for that neighborhood! (I'm trying to picture which corner for a coffee drive-thru...)

vj said...

There's also an AJ's on Albina at Portland.

I'd touch on gentrification, but I think I have too much to say and not enough coffee yet.

JD said...

As a black woman small-biz owner, I concur! I definitely do my best to support local businesses (and smaller businesses on the Internet, like the craftspeople on Etsy). Large corporations are destroying neighborhoods and the middle class, and its up to individuals to shop (and NOT shop, too- save $$ instead of focusing on consumerism) with a greater consciousness. Thanks, That Black Girl.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! buying local is all part of the strategy to create a different economy.


Have you looked at
portland.indymedia.org?

Anonymous said...

AJ's is defintely worth supporting. She is opening a third in the New Columbia in North. Also worth trying coffee shop on NE Prescott and 14th- another hip black-owned coffeeshop with great coffee.

D said...

I now know how I ran into your blog... I googled the phrase "really good coffee" for some research I'm doing to maybe open a business, and that phrase is in the first sentence of this post.

If I get to Portland, I'll have to check it out.