First Black woman-owned coffee shop opens in Savannah

Andrew M. Santos

A one-of-a-kind coffee shop has opened its doors in Savannah. The Culturist Union is the first Black woman-owned coffee shop in the city.WJCL 22 had the chance to catch up with the owner to find out more about the inspiration behind the new spot.“I want this place to be a gathering spot. I want this to be the first place people think to go when they want a pick me up. When they want their fresh cup of joe. You’re going to get quality. You’re going to get great service and you’re going to have a great time,” Culturist Union owner Elbi Elm said. The coffee shop and artisan market not only serves coffee and sweet treats but also sells work from nearly 50 local vendors. Elm said her reason for opening the shop, is simple. “I was a military brat and I would go to different coffee houses and I loved how they would bring people together and I wanted to create that here in Savannah,” Elm said.From inside to out, paintings fill the space at the Culturist Union. All of the artwork was done by local Black women muralists. “I felt like we needed to create an opportunity for ourselves where we could better our condition, we could support one another. We could improve our social and economic status and invite the community in to share our gift with us,” Elm said.She has big dreams for the future of the coffee shop and artisan marketplace. Her biggest dream? To be an example for young Black girls.Elm has this message for them.”You can do anything. If you have a dream if you have a goal that you aspire to, that it is possible. You just have to work hard. You have to gather up your resources. You have to connect to the people who love you and want to support you and then just shine. It’s going to be alright,” Elm said.The Culturist Union has its first event Saturday morning. There will be a storytime for kids from 10 a.m. to noon, including activities and a special menu.

A one-of-a-kind coffee shop has opened its doors in Savannah. The Culturist Union is the first Black woman-owned coffee shop in the city.

WJCL 22 had the chance to catch up with the owner to find out more about the inspiration behind the new spot.

“I want this place to be a gathering spot. I want this to be the first place people think to go when they want a pick me up. When they want their fresh cup of joe. You’re going to get quality. You’re going to get great service and you’re going to have a great time,” Culturist Union owner Elbi Elm said.

The coffee shop and artisan market not only serves coffee and sweet treats but also sells work from nearly 50 local vendors. Elm said her reason for opening the shop, is simple.

“I was a military brat and I would go to different coffee houses and I loved how they would bring people together and I wanted to create that here in Savannah,” Elm said.

From inside to out, paintings fill the space at the Culturist Union. All of the artwork was done by local Black women muralists.

“I felt like we needed to create an opportunity for ourselves where we could better our condition, we could support one another. We could improve our social and economic status and invite the community in to share our gift with us,” Elm said.

She has big dreams for the future of the coffee shop and artisan marketplace. Her biggest dream? To be an example for young Black girls.

Elm has this message for them.

“You can do anything. If you have a dream if you have a goal that you aspire to, that it is possible. You just have to work hard. You have to gather up your resources. You have to connect to the people who love you and want to support you and then just shine. It’s going to be alright,” Elm said.

The Culturist Union has its first event Saturday morning. There will be a storytime for kids from 10 a.m. to noon, including activities and a special menu.

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