ELK GROVE, Calif. — Sacramento native Jamaar Anderson is struggling to keep the doors of his coffee shop, Savvy House Coffee Bar, open in his own hometown.
Savvy House Coffee Bar is a Black-owned, and family-owned and operated business that's been in Elk Grove since March 31, 2019.
Anderson broke the news on social media Aug. 4 explaining how his café has been impacted by the current economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, supply chain issues, and inflation.
Starting out, Anderson not only took the chance to invest his own money in the coffee business, but he also relied on grants that ran out within the first year and had to wait for additional help a year after the pandemic started.
In order for Savvy House to stay open during the pandemic, Anderson created an ongoing event called the 'Grassroots Empowerment Coalition,' a free panel discussion to educate, inform, motivate and empower the community. He also created an event called Cold COVID Nights, in hopes of bringing positivity to the community.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have lessened and more stores and restaurants are re-opening their doors, Anderson realized that although the spikes in foot traffic and support during the pandemic helped his café, it didn’t get him out of the red.
Although Anderson applied for various grants and loans for businesses recovering from the pandemic, unfortunately, Savvy House didn't qualify for those resources.
Now, he plans to relocate to a better and bigger space, humbly calling on the community to raise awareness and donate to help save Savvy House.
"Even though this location may be closing soon within the next few months, we are very eager to try to get into a better space, maybe a restaurant location or another café, where we can do what we're doing but even better so with the help of the people, we will get there,” Anderson said. "We're blessed and we don't stop. Can't stop, won't stop".
A GoFundMe was started by Anderson on Aug. 11 with a set goal to raise $75,000. Since announcing the near-closing of Savvy House, Anderson has received $5,945 within one month.
"Just to build the stuff costs me a little over $200,000,” Anderson said. "In addition to the space, we have employee costs, equipment, coffee, lights and things to actually run the shop, so it took us about half a million dollars to open, and it takes more to keep running the business."
Anderson has a deep appreciation and love for his community. He has opened the doors of Savvy House for various community gatherings and events such as open mic nights, fashion shows, bridal showers, bible studies and more and is looking forward to hosting more events in the future.
"I love what I do," Anderson said. "I will say, it doesn't take the black community to support, it takes the whole community. If I look in this community, it's not one set of people, it's a mixed diversity of a whole bunch of people and that's what I see coming through the door and that's what I love best."
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