Durham Magazine February/March 2022

Page 46

THE INFLUENCERS

I

f you’ve flipped to this page to learn more about this power couple, What began as a literal dream in Leon’s sleep, Cocoa Cinnamon first heed my full disclosure: You’re about to read a love letter to started as a true labor of love with $75 in the bank account. It first some of my best friends. operated out of the Barrera family kitchen in 2010, selling truffles at As a longtime journalist and former food editor in Durham, I’ve markets and shopping mall kiosks; then as bikeCOFFEE in 2011; and only written extensively about Areli Barrera Grodski and Leon Grodski later evolved into three community-supported coffee shops and Little Barrera once, in 2011 for INDY Week, Waves Coffee Roasters, founded in 2017. when they functioned as bikeCOFFEE Today, Little Waves Coffee leads with – a tricycle cart they pedaled around impressive stats. It was just named the downtown. Leon and Areli focused on country’s 2022 Micro Roaster of the Year pour-over coffee, teas, spices and handmade by Roast magazine. The company is Latinachocolate truffles at the time. You’d find led (Areli was born in Tijuana, Mexico) and them at the Durham Farmers Market on is composed of 71% women and nonbinary Saturday mornings, parked inside Motorco people, and 53% people of color. Much of OWNERS, LITTLE WAVES COFFEE ROASTERS Music Hall during a show or late night on the the staff are immigrants or come from firstsidewalk outside of The Pinhook. generation households, and the leadership AND COCOA CINNAMON Durham felt like a different place then, positions reflect that diversity, too. The where the “DIY District” at Rigsbee and roasting team includes women who started Geer percolated with ideas from small business owners, artists and working as Cocoa Cinnamon baristas as teenagers. The company pays activists alike. The city is rapidly changing, but Areli and Leon kept livable wages and gives back to the community constantly. that vibe, never losing their sense of place and the desire for equitable The company doesn’t make these choices for the sake of ticking growth in and for a creative community. boxes. Areli and Leon are gathering from both their lived experiences

areli barrera grodski & leon grodski barrera

THANK YOU For giving hope to families that need it!

The Triangle community came together to make the inaugural Season of Hope an enormous success. Your generosity helped raise $642,990.90 for Duke Children’s!

GIVING.DUKECHILDRENS.ORG 919.385.3137 | dukekids@duke.edu Thank You to Our Sponsors

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