Thursday, February 2, 2023

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In Pursuit of a Dream in Berkeley at Thoughts Espresso

Thoughts Espresso in Berkeley, Calif., is a brand new espresso store on a mission to rewrite the psychological well being narrative.


Cowl photograph by Greg Rosenke through Unsplash

In a bustling neighborhood close to the campus of UC Berkeley, the conclusion of 1 younger girl’s dream to open an area the place specialty espresso meets psychological well being is quick approaching. Allowing delays with town of Berkeley made refurbishing the storefront that may home Thoughts Espresso unimaginable for practically a 12 months. Having overcome that impediment, Viviana Wang is concentrated on opening as soon as the ultimate building part wraps up. Viviana plans to open the café, situated at 1816 Euclid Avenue in Berkeley, earlier than 2023. 

The Area

Thoughts Espresso boasts a mentally stimulating ambiance that features separate areas for socializing and focusing. These snug choices are positive to be a success with the scores of scholars and group members who go to the store looking for nice espresso and a break from the frantic tempo of contemporary life.

A rendering of the interior of the shop. One the ceiling are wavy build-outs that come down from the ceiling, which are similar to altitude drawings on maps. The counter space is in the back, with cafe tables and chairs lined up in front of a long bench built into the left side wall. Closer to the front, planters are recessed into the wall and feature tall pointy snake plants.
A rendering of the inside design at Thoughts Espresso, which was created to be a snug house for socializing or working and enjoyable alone. Picture by Aaron Trimble.

One other inspiring ingredient of the café, which sits a stone’s throw from UC Berkeley’s north entrance, is an attention-grabbing ceiling design. It encompasses a collection of curved strains that run your complete size of the espresso store. The wave-like power that radiates from the ceiling’s distinctive building represents the numerous curves by which the thoughts has the potential to wander. Even the café’s colour scheme helps constructive vibes, which distinctly calls into thoughts its ambitions regarding psychological well being consciousness.   

The Backstory

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed conversations about psychological well being to the forefront in communities all around the world, and Thoughts Espresso goals to be on the middle of these conversations within the Bay Space. Current occasions have introduced consideration to staff who toil lengthy hours underneath hostile situations that make them inclined to emphasize and different psychological health-related issues. Thoughts Espresso plans to handle the ignorance regarding entry to psychological well being assets and practices that promote a wholesome mindset. It has additionally grow to be obvious that scholar life has modified, and so have the psychological well being wants of scholars. Thoughts Espresso will begin filling these wants by providing nice espresso, heat smiles, and a bevy of instruments anybody can make the most of. 

Viviana stands beneath an arch with her dog Mario, a brown curly-haired Golden Doodle, who is also a service animal. Next to them is Aaron, a manager at Mind Coffee.
Store proprietor Viviana poses with Aaron Trimble and her Goldendoodle, Mario. Picture by Eddie P. Gomez.

Earlier than the pandemic, Viviana discovered herself struggling mentally after the loss of life of her father. Troublesome life conditions piled up, inflicting her to spiral right into a damaging psychological house. The expertise resulted in Viviana reassessing her life and future ambitions. She launched into a journey of therapeutic and private discovery with the assistance of a therapist. Via this, she realized it was time to open the espresso store she’d lengthy dreamt of. It had been onerous to get assist along with her psychological well being challenges, which closely formed her method at Thoughts Espresso. 

Persevering with a Legacy

Stemming from her household’s expertise with espresso in Colombia, Viviana has envisioned opening a café since she was little. When her mom was pregnant with Viviana, she suffered from debilitating bouts of nausea. The one factor that soothed her was the scent of contemporary grounds on the espresso bar the place she labored. Her mother would even go to the espresso bar on her days off to get a every day dose of reduction.

Owner Viviana holds a measuring tape up against a wall inside Mind Coffee. She wears white boots, army green pants, and an acid-washed loose denim jacket.
Viviana plans to open Thoughts Espresso in Berkeley earlier than the top of the 12 months.
Picture by Eddie P. Gomez.

Viviana has stayed busy planning for the store opening. She traveled to Seattle to coach as a barista, created a singular espresso menu after limitless quantities of analysis, established a relationship with a inexperienced espresso purchaser, and secured an settlement with a roasting collective to make use of their facility.

I just lately spent the afternoon with Viviana and Aaron Trimble, who’s a part of the administration group at Thoughts Espresso. Mario, a beautiful Goldendoodle pulling double responsibility as a service canine and firm mascot, additionally joined us. We toured the longer term website of the café, walked throughout the UC Berkeley campus, and settled in for lunch at Noodle Dynasty. There, Viviana candidly defined the circumstances that introduced in regards to the formation of Thoughts Espresso.

The Objective

Pursuing the dream to open Thoughts Espresso helps Viviana keep constructive, regardless of the challenges that proceed to pop up. Aaron additionally spelled out his hopes for the longer term and elaborated on the corporate’s mission assertion. “We, within the easiest sense, are a espresso store with a mission to rewrite the psychological well being narrative and assist present instruments and workout routines anybody can use to assist strengthen their psychological well being. We wish to unfold the phrase that caring for our thoughts is simply as necessary for our psychological well being as caring for our physique is for bodily well being,” says Aaron. 

Workers in white safety suits and goggles work on building the Mind Coffee space. The wall studs are exposed, ladders lean against the walls, and assorted buckets and wood pallets are scattered inside.
Regardless of the challenges of opening a brand new café, Viviana believes the house generally is a respite for college kids and others. Picture by Aaron Trimble.

Touring and writing about espresso all through the final 12 months has launched me to many café homeowners who, like Viviana, have stood at a crossroads. They determined to push again towards uncertainty and eventually take the leap of religion essential to open a espresso enterprise. Life strikes ahead by challenges that result in private development. Specialty-coffee retailers like Thoughts Espresso allow communities to thrive, and it is very important assist their efforts.


Eddie P. Gomez (he/him) is a contract author primarily based in Modesto, Calif. When he’s not substitute educating kindergarten lessons, he wanders from metropolis to metropolis, perfecting the artwork of the meals and occasional journey.


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