Sweetwaters Cafe: Park Slope's Newest Coffee-shop
I know what you are thinking, yet another coffee shop in this vastly changing area of Brooklyn. I recently sat down with the president of this location, Kingsley Sosoo, and learned more about this franchise that is breaking ground in New York City, and WHAT sets them apart from other coffee shops in the area.
Sweetwaters originated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, back in 1993 by the founders Lisa and Wei Bee where their love for global teas and coffee mixed with their appreciation for community moved them to open their first location. 26 years later and staying true to their values, they have opened 30 different locations across 10 states.
My conversation with the president of the Sweetwaters Cafe in Park Slope left me feeling motivated as someone who is an aspiring entrepreneur. When I ask Mr. Sosoo why he selected this franchise, he stated because their values aligned with his, and it goes beyond just making a profit. Sweetwaters Cafe offers premium coffee and teas at an affordable price for the community, and their menu includes over 20 types of tea and unique coffees. French Vietnamese Au Lait is a signature beverage and includes dark roasted coffee and sweetened condensed milk.
Community is a large part of the business plan for Sweetwaters, and I asked Mr. Sosoo how they have been involved in the community thus far. During their opening day on September 7th, they donated a portion of their proceeds from the busiest part of their day (50% to be exact) to a local charity called CHiPS. CHiPS mission is to feed the hungry in their soup kitchen and shelter young women and their infants. Other ways of giving back to and supporting the community will include rewarding children in the area with their Great Grades program, and allowing local organizations to utilize their space for meetups. The Sweetwaters Cafe in Park Slope will showcase a local artist on their art wall, which will be rotated out every three months. As a Brooklynite for over 30 years, Mr. Sosoo understands the importance of building community and intends to have his business to be a staple in the Park Slope area where everyone feels welcomed.
Sitting down an entrepreneur that LOOKS like me had to be one of the motivating things that happened to me in the past couple of weeks. For him to be so transparent about starting a business for the first time, and the challenges he faced was a reminder if you plan for something and work hard, you will be rewarded. I asked Mr. Sosoo if he had to give aspiring entrepreneurs one piece of advice what would it be. He said, "Do your homework before going into this multi-facet world of entrepreneurship." These wise words can be applied to any industry you choose to go into.
If you are in the Park Slope, I encourage you to support this business. With a wide array of snacks, desserts, and beverages, you are sure to find something while enjoying your time there as well. They are open until 10 pm on Sundays and 11 pm Monday through Saturday. Check out my photos below to see what I ordered while visiting.
My dining experience was comped, but this review showcases my own opinions.