If you’ve been to Community Grounds recently, you might have noticed a few changes. There’s different artwork on the walls, a fresh layout, and new furniture around the shop!
A few months ago, we introduced you to Josh Barber, the new manager of Carver Market and Community Grounds, and he jumped right into the role, sprucing up our coffee shop. As a former barista in high school and with a background as an artist, Josh had immediate ideas about what changes to make.
In creating the new look for the coffee shop, Josh first spent time researching the history of Historic South Atlanta. When the neighborhood was formerly known as Brownsville, it was a flourishing community full of thriving shops and businesses. That image stuck with Josh as a desire to create a “comfortable and exceptional space where people want to be.”
Josh kept in mind all the functions the coffee shop serves when it was time to choose the furniture. Groups gather to study, friends meet each other to catch up, individuals settle in to work, and kids hang out after school. Taking all these needs into consideration, Josh wanted to create a space that would welcome everyone, and with a generous donation from Kairos Church, he got to work looking for furniture to fill the space.
Walking into the coffee shop now, there are plenty of tables and chairs for folks who come to work on their laptops. You’ll also find a kid-sized table for little ones to color and snack while their parents drink coffee. There’s a large meeting table in the center, and in the library space, tables and and cozy couches are available to those who come in to be productive, relax and read, or casually mingle with their friends.
There’s also new artwork for sale on the coffee shop walls. Some was created by students at Carver High School, and other pieces belong to local artists. Our unique space - and the customers who visit - offer a great opportunity to showcase the work of these fantastic artists and to support the economic development of our local community.
But there is more Josh wants to do with community artists. Josh is collaborating to plan a regular open mic night for South Atlanta poets, spoken word artists, comedians, and musicians. He says, “It’s a coffee shop for community by community.” And in a neighborhood filled with so many talented artists, he’s excited to create a space for them!
Even as Community Grounds develops and changes, we know our coffee shop will continue to be a place of belonging for South Atlanta. We hope to welcome even more artists, workers, friends, and neighbors into our community space, and we hope to see you there!