Top Coffee Shops for Coworking: Durham Edition

Award for best duo? Coffee and coworking. Today on the blog, we are highlighting the best coffee shops for coworking here in Durham! The gig economy continues to grow rapidly. As of August 2019, About 36% of US workers are now involved in the gig economy. US freelancers contributed $1.28 trillion to the American economy in 2018. If the gig economy keeps growing at its current rate, more than 50% of the US workforce will participate in it by 2027.

More and more companies are allowing employees to work remotely and where are these employees going when they’re working remote? You guessed it. Coffee shops. Even if you are a member of a coworking space, odds are you often frequent a local coffee shop for client meetings or to grab an afternoon pick me up. As the gig economy grows, keeping money in our community grows as locals are now spending time and money in their local coffee shops. Shopping local is so important and today we’re showing you some of the best locally owned shops to work in, let’s jump in!

  1. Nolia: Family + Coffee

Photo by: Triangle on the cheap

First on the list is an easy to miss, cozy shop located near the Golden Belt campus. Though easy to miss, once you’ve been to Nolia: Family + Coffee, you’ll never be able to drive by again without stopping in for an iced coffee with a pump of their delicious house made syrup. This shop is the ideal option for a parent who works remotely. This family owned shop is where family meets coffee. Nolia is on a mission to create the quintessential family-centric space – outfitted with healthy menu items and places to play for the little humans, and with life-changing coffee for the big humans. The shop has space for kids to play while you work and the shop is the perfect size to where one glance up from your laptop and you can see exactly what your little one is up to.

Trust me, even if you don’t have a little one, you’ll want to try this shop. It is hands down one of the best iced coffees you can find in Durham! All of the coffee served at Nolia is direct-trade, ethically-sourced, and specialty-grade. There you’ll find great space to get work done and always friendly faces!

2. Cocoa Cinnamon

Photo by Trip Advisor

One word, churros. Cocoa Cinnamon is the only coffee shop in Durham that I know where you can have a great coworking sesh AND have churros on the side. Just to be clear, only the Lakewood location has the churros, but they are indeed amazing. One of my favorite Cocoa Cinnamon locations for coworking is the Old North Durham location. This one is great and walkable for you Downtown dwellers or if you are working in the Downtown Durham area for just the day. This spot is perfect especially in the Spring because of their expansive outdoor *shaded* seating area, great for meetings and knocking out some projects.

3. Beyu Caffe

If you’ve been following along with the blog, you might recognize this next caffe. Highlighted during our Diversity Series, Beyu Caffe is a long time Durham favorite. After much evolution over the years, Beyu has grown to become a hot spot for a great cup of coffee. Beyu Caffe (pronounced be-you) was founded in 2009 by Duke University graduate, Dorian Bolden, to be the ultimate community gathering place where everyone could “be you”. The name and idea stems from Dorian’s lifelong experiences in various social and cultural settings whereby he believes that we all have more in common than we do differences. Bolden wanted a place in Bull City accepting of all, regardless of the color of your skin or the gender you identify with. Post his studies at Duke, Bolden moved to NYC and worked on Wall Street. Though he knew he had a stable job, he started asking himself the same question we all come to, “What do I really want to do with my life?” The answer was simple, to do something he was passionate about. Though most of us usually stay in the comfort zone and don’t chase the crazy sounding dream, Bolden went for it. He learned the ins and outs of coffee and moved back to his old stomping grounds of Durham.

If you have yet to enjoy Beyu Caffe, it is a must try. The space is warm and welcoming and you’re sure to never leave without a smile on your face. From breakfast for someone on the go, or coffee and tables for coworking, there is something for everyone.

4. Cloche Coffee

Though the newest on our list, Cloche Coffee certainly knows how to keep us coming back for more. Pronounced ‘cl-O-shh’ (with a hard ‘O’) and French for bell, a cloche is a bell-shaped glass covering placed over plants to protect them from frostbite and encourage their growth. They’ve embraced the same idea at Cloche Coffee. Step inside their glass space, admire their plants, and recharge with their good energy. Cloche’s mission is to foster the growth of our Durham community and serve some really fantastic coffee and food along the way. 

It is very peaceful and serene compared to some shops full of bustle. I get distracted in a lot of coffee shops, but I find that Cloche is a very relaxing environment to work in! Be sure to check it out and keep your eye on their page for some fun events they’ll be doing on their patio. They partner with some great other locally owned businesses to make some fun events happen!

We would love to see you coworking in your habitat. If you visit a cool new shop or one of our faves, be sure to tag @urbanmj on Facebook!

Out with the old, in with the Concept

Concept stores are quickly persuading us to trade in the same old same old for a fresh experience, especially when it comes to food & drink. You can drink coffee while cats paw around, eat lobster rolls while also having rolled ice cream, and you can even support a nonprofit by buying lunch at A Place at the Table.

Why simply drink a cup of coffee when you could drink a cup of coffee and also get your motorcycle repaired at the same time? Brilliance. Jammer Cafe in Canada has done just that and the people love it. Who has the next experiential retail idea to share with Raleigh!? We want to hear it.

Check out this concept coffee shop and all it has to offer:


The Reinvention of Grocery Stores

How many of you have been in Downtown Urban areas and thought, if there was a grocery store in walking distance I’d be set? I have been in many walkable cities where they seemed to have everything I needed, except for a close place to get fresh produce or specialty items. The demographic of those living in complex in urban areas, are the same demographic that want the type of products carried at stores like The Fresh Market and Whole Foods. Here in the Triangle and in other up and coming cities, there has been total reinvention of grocery stores in urban locations to fill this void for urban residents.

Well-known (and normally huge) grocery chains are beginning to come up with smaller solutions that make sense for walkable locations. We have all seen a Walmart Express a time or two, but now large chains are getting super inventive.

For example, Dollar General recently unveiled its new DGX,a  smaller format store,, to serve busy, metropolitan shoppers with everyday low prices on the essentials they need in a convenient, easy-to-shop format. The store even features items not typically found in quick-trip stores including a carefully-edited assortment of home, electronics and seasonal offerings. Dollar General made cool again. I am here for it. The Raleigh location has been extremely successful. Not only is it a fresh and new concept for the area, but services the quick needs of those who are on-the-go.

Photo by: New Raleigh

There are also many new market concept locations popping up in cities Raleigh and Durham. Weaver Street Market, which started in Carrboro, NC, is now opening a Raleigh location in January of 2019. The 12,600-square-foot store will be located at The Dillon. Weaver Street Market is a worker- and consumer-owned cooperative selling natural and organic food with a focus on local and fair trade products. Weaver St. prides itself on being “community owned” and hosts many community wide events.

In Durham, Bulldega Market is opening. Bulldega is a family owned and operated grocery store that will be located in the heart of downtown Durham across the street from City Hall. This market will provide access to local produce and humanely raised meat, along with those everyday household items that you can’t live without. One driving value of this family market is healthy, sustainable eating at accessible prices. They will also have ready-to-eat lunches for a quick bite or those taking their lunch break.

Photo by: Sweet Tea and Pasta

These unique chain store spin-offs and family owned markets with a passion for local, have completely revitalized the grocery options for those in developing cities. Fresh, local food has been much needed for Downtown areas and I can’t wait to see these concepts flourish.

Be sure to check out their sites for more information!


Weaver St. :