Mia Moss is the force behind Black Coffee, the only coffee shop in the Polytechnic Heights neighborhood. It’s been a year of ups and downs for the entrepreneur. We sat down with her to learn more.
When did Black Coffee open?
"We opened in November 2019. We held off having a grand opening until January 25, 2020, and my husband (sartorialist/suit-maker Franklin Moss) had just come back from Italy before everything shut down."
What's your coffee background?
"I worked at Seattle’s Best Coffee (SBC was a chain predecessor of Starbucks, founded in Seattle two years before Starbucks began) in DFW International Airport. I loved the job. I got to talk to so many people. I’m a little bit of an introvert but when I have coffee I can talk to people. I went to the American Barista and Coffee School in Portland (a culinary/business school dedicated to coffee) to learn about the business."
How did you end up at your current location?
"We live in the Meadowbrook area, and I grew up there. I didn’t want to travel far for a cup of coffee. The norm on Magnolia Avenue is to walk to a coffee shop. We need the same on the East Side – the part that’s not up-and-coming. There’s a market here. We want to show people you can put businesses here and people will patronize them. There’s a fear of gentrification, but my goal is that local community entrepreneurs open places for themselves."
What was COVID like a new business owner?
"It was strange, and a little scary. One day we had to close and everyone was quarantining. It was surreal, almost like a movie. But when you first open, you don’t expect to make any money. We had lots of people who helped us, and a lot of people encouraged us to do curbside (the shop has a drive-through window). We opened weekends, and I did a tip drive for my staff. We did what we could do."
Who helped during the shutdown?
"It was all of Fort Worth. We were helped by a lot of contributors who supported others who love coffee. At this point, we’ll continue curbside delivery for people who don’t want to wear a mask. The mask policy is for my staff, my family and the community. I have a lot of healthcare workers who come in. That’s life right now. I appreciate the support, and I will not burden anyone with my own beliefs."
Black Coffee is a community gathering space in East Fort Worth. From music video shoots to coat and food drives, the shop is a haven for coffee lovers and visitors alike.