Located on the corner of Broadway and West 20th Street in Riviera Beach is a new infrastructure. To the untrained eye, this orange and brown establishment may look like an everyday coffee shop, but for the husband and wife duo who own the spot, Kafe Hub is the key to bringing vibrancy and entrepreneurial zeal back to the seaside community.
Historically, the city of Riviera Beach is prime location for sports fisherman and business owners in the boating, fishing and marine life industries. It is also home to Fortune 500 Companies, Lockheed Martin, Coca Cola, Tesla and Cheney Brothers. Earlier this year, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency completed its $35 million project, erecting the new Riviera Beach Marina Event Center and park, located on East 13th Street just south of Blue Heron Boulevard. Developments like these are shedding positive light on a community that has seen its share of ups and downs, yet still deserves the accolades.
But for aspiring entrepreneurs and Riviera Beach-based startups, there still remains a support and mentorship gap at the grassroots level. That is until now. Enters Kafe Hub.
Collaboration Builds Communities
Kafe Hub is a hip coffee shop and co-op workspace located in the heart of Riviera Beach. Taking cues from larger metropolitan cities around the nation, Beethoven and Marchelle Francois thought it was time for Riviera Beach to have its own collaborative space where people could enjoy a great cup of coffee, network and gain the mentorship and tools necessary to run a successful business. “[We] needed a space where people could work together and find a way to build and collaborate about business.” Beethoven says. “Riviera Beach is my home,” Marchelle adds. “I grew up here and I wanted to contribute something meaningful. What I recognized was that people in my community were so resourceful, intelligent and creative, but lacked the knowledge and contacts to make the first step.”
True to its name, Kafe Hub is a watering hole that houses the necessary space and technology needed to attract human equity to Riviera Beach. Co-op patrons are able to rent desk space, conference rooms and lockers to perform daily, weekly or monthly operational tasks. The 4,700 square foot building features custom signage, furniture and build outs made of native Florida Pecky Cypress wood and a Network Wall, dubbed “The Plug” where a digital screen displays the talent available around Riviera Beach. Moreover, Kafe Hub’s Skype Room allows for business-related video conferencing around the world, and their anticipated printing station will make tasks like creating 3-D product mockups, bound presentations and contract signings a breeze.
More important than the technology and the space itself is the human traffic that the café will produce. The owners of Kafe Hub wanted to create a space where one could potentially meet a future business partner, run into city politicians or attend a class that provides the missing link that takes a startup to the next level. “All these tools and resources are now at your fingertips in this community.” Beethoven says.
The nucleus of the co-working space is an incubator model that aids, enriches and accelerates startups in the area. The benefits of membership at the Kafe Hub co-op space are free and discounted workshops, collaborations with other entrepreneurs, use of conference rooms and audio-visual equipment and discounts on food and beverages served in the café.
The Business of Coffee
Kafe Hub’s business model rests on a twofold mission. The shop’s second—yet equally important initiative—is to serve as a centralized location where individuals can enjoy a great cup of coffee or tea in Riviera Beach. Drawing from West Indian traditions, owners hope to create an atmosphere where families and friends can congregate, eat and socialize, while observing the happenings in Riviera Beach through the large, picturesque windows that surround the café.
Kafe Hub features an open kitchen concept where pressed sandwiches, pastries and soups are prepared for customers. Healthier food options like fresh fruit, juices and salads are also available. The Francoises have partnered with local roasters and vendors to ensure that everything sold onsite is the freshest and highest quality possible.
Ultimately, it is the goal of Kafe Hub to reestablish pride among Riviera Beach residents and visitors. Since opening on Sept. 1, the reception of the café has been overwhelmingly positive. Cassandra Phillistin, owner of Raw Source LLC, says she was surprised by the space and considered it an upgrade from working in franchised coffee shops. “[Kafe Hub] is a lot bigger than I was expecting. I was expecting something a little more quaint when I first heard about it. This is a step up from mainstream coffee shops because of the personalized service and collaboration opportunities.” Kafe Hub team member, Oliver Stewart says, “We’re getting closer to shifting the culture of the community and creating an outlet for young entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives.” Kafe Hub’s slogan: “the culture of bringing people together” summarizes their mission to foster an atmosphere where growth, strategy and success become the new norm in the beautiful city of Riviera Beach.
To learn more about Kafe Hub co-working space and coffee shop visit the location Mon.-Fri. between the hours of 7am-7pm at 1939 Broadway in Riviera Beach.
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