WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s officially Hispanic Heritage Month and one West Palm Beach coffee shop has created a space where customers can get their coffee fix while connecting with their Hispanic heritage.
Right in the heart of downtown, off of Clematis and inside the Mandel library sits a blend of Colombian tradition mixed with American roots, recognizing Hispanic culture through a cup of coffee.
“Coffee is in our blood but our slogan is we don’t sell coffee, we share coffee experiences,” said Jaime Lara, owner of Salento Coffee.
Salento Coffee is one of the only Hispanic-owned businesses, let alone coffee shops, in downtown West Palm Beach.
“There’s not too many other Latino businesses around here,” said Lara. “So, it’s a big opportunity for us; it’s also a high-risk responsibility to do the good things well, because we’re representing the people in our community.”
Just two months ago, Salento Coffee moved locations right onto Clematis Street— at a time when several businesses have left downtown due to inflation and high rent.
“This is a celebration of success. It’s the American dream come true,” said
. “They set an example of what we can achieve if we put our heart and mind to it.”
According to the 2000 Census, Palm Beach County’s Hispanic market has increased 111% in the last 10 years. Today they represent over 12% of the total population.
“Food, coffee, they are the things that unite humanity,” said Mur. “But these are the things that are slowly being integrated into the fabric of Palm Beach County.”
As the aroma of fresh coffee fills the space, it’s the culture that keeps their business brewing.
“People love the coffee, people love our culture, our music, and we’re showing different life aspects of our life,” said Lara. “That’s the most important thing, show the culture.”