South LA Cafe Balances Coffee and Community in a Changing Neighborhood
"Having witnessed the dearth of options for good coffee and fresh food in their South Los Angeles neighborhood, husband and wife team Celia Ward-Wallace and Joe Ward-Wallace decided to take matters into their own hands.
In November, the couple opened the community coffee shop South LA Cafe, along with an associated fresh food market and gathering spaces, in a neighborhood that is simultaneously gentrifying and underserved.
'Because [South LA] is lower income, and predominantly a community of color, there’s really been disinvestment in the community,' Celia Ward-Wallace told Daily Coffee News. 'There aren’t any grocery stores; there aren’t any coffee shops; there aren’t any of the corporations that would normally invest in a neighborhood like this. And just recently, there’s been a huge rise in gentrification. It’s happened in the last five years in a very dramatic way, and we felt like this is sort of our last moment in time that we might have enough resources and opportunity to create something significant in the community.'"