Top Coffee Shops for Coworking: Raleigh Edition

Award for best duo? Coffee and coworking. Today on the blog, we are highlighting the best coffee shops for coworking here in Raleigh (Durham, we’ll be reviewing you next!) 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!


Fount Coffee + Kitchen


Though technically in Morrisville, I couldn’t wait to feature Fount. If you haven’t heard of Fount Coffee + Kitchen already, don’t worry, you haven’t been in the dark for too long. Fount opened in December 2018 and even though they’ve only been open for less than a year, they have made a huge impact on the community. Fount is a specialty coffee bar celebrating craft, quality, and community. They partner with Counter Culture Coffee to handcraft exceptional drinks and serve you your next favorite cup of coffee. One thing that is super unique is that their food menu features 100% gluten-free dishes, boasting of organic, high quality ingredients. Their food and coffee menu is available for all meals of the day, so you’ll have all the sustenance you need for a long work day away from home. It is also very picturesque for you creatives who need some cool photo opportunities. They now also partner with other local businesses to do pop-ups and public yoga classes in the shop! 

Fount has been designed with great intentionality to serve as a community gathering place for friends and family (and friends who become family) in the rapidly growing town of Morrisville, NC. They are locally owned and operated and we love this place! 

10954 Chapel Hill Rd Ste 107 & 109, Morrisville, NC 27560


Sola Coffee

Hands down the busiest coffee shop in Raleigh, but for good reason. Sola Coffee is next on our list for best coworking! Let me tell you, everyone in Raleigh seems to go to Sola. Everytime I head in, I run into at least 2 people I know. Sola has a full menu that includes fresh salads, toasts, smoothie bowls, and their super famous hot mini donuts. Their coffee is superb. This is definitely a great place if you are looking to be surrounded by other creatives and potentially network. It is also walkable from many neighborhoods in North Raleigh. 

7705 Lead Mine Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615


Lucky Tree

Photo by: Lucky Tree

I love to share this shop because I find not too many people know about it and the owners are spectacular!! This is THE place to be if you’re passionate about health and wellness. Lucky Tree is a great spot for working if you are someone who gets easily distracted. It is soothing and calm, but your caffeine buzz from their great drinks will definitely keep you from taking a snooze. If I could describe Lucky Tree in one word, it would be “zen.”  Lucky Tree serves fresh baked goods each day that are completely unique. Their offerings are all natural, vegan, AND gluten free. Get the oatmeal cookie sandwich, it is my absolute favorite. Check out coworking here if you are looking for a place that’s not so hectic and crowded.

3801 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Dove and Olive

Dove and Olive is another newbie to add to your Raleigh coffee bucket list. This newer shop, is a unique combination of retail and coffee, located conveniently in the heart of Five Points. What I like about this shop is the focus on local and on minimalism. They have an extremely minimal coffee menu, but always have fresh baked goods from Yellow Dog. They also have an entire section of curated goods for kitchen, home, and your gifting needs. They also just launched a special membership this week, it is $40 a month and includes access to their space, unlimited coffee or tea, 10% off retail, and 10% off space rental for events. It has huge tables with plenty of space to work and even a play area for children! I love all of these parts of Dove and Olive, but most of all I love that the husband and wife owners are always there and are the faces you see when you walk in! Getting to know the people behind the business is always so special. 

233 Bickett Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27608

A Place at the Table

Photo By: A Place at the Table

Network, Co-work, AND support a local cause. A Place at the Table is a nonprofit cafe that provides healthy and delicious food to everyone no matter the means. They are part of the organization One World Everybody eats and their cafe is completely pay-what-you-can. A Place at the Table has a full food and coffee menu at the most affordable prices. Their upstairs has great space for coworking that includes a long, wooden bar and stools perfect for your team and their outdoor seating is awesome too. The cafe is also the perfect place to network if you are looking for ways to give back to a cause or if you are interested in volunteering!

300 W Hargett St #50, Raleigh, NC 27601

Let us know if you check any of these places out for working or just to enjoy your morning cup of joe, by tagging us on Facebook @urbanmj. Be on the lookout for more posts about coworking and coffee in the city of Durham!

As WeWork Stumbles, Local Co-working Flourishes

As you may have noticed, co-working spaces have been popping up everywhere, big and small. Raleigh and Durham both now have WeWork, founded in New York, and there are tons of other new co-working spaces opening up everywhere. If the gig economy keeps growing at its current rate, more than 50% of the US workforce will participate in it by 2027. In 2018, US independent workers spent a billion hours per week freelancing.One potential issue with these larger coworking chains is the question of whether or not they can survive an economic downturn. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article criticizing the company’s business model and examines which multibillion-dollar valued company is most likely to fail the hardest. What happens if things change and they are stuck with such a large and extensive space? 


Though the gig economy proves to not be going anywhere anytime soon, it comes down to who you want your dollars to support. WeWork can fit large startup teams and hundreds of members, but what about someone who wants something more intimate for their team of one. Locally owned coworking spaces are the perfect solution. Competing with these larger chains are locally owned spaces designed by members of the community. Today on the blog, we’re sharing 3 coworking spaces that are not only locally owned, but also female owned. 1 of which is for female entrepreneurs only. These spaces all have unique offerings that larger coworking spaces could never provide for all members with such ease. 


House of Work

House of Work is a brand new coworking space located on Golden Belt Campus in Durham, neighboring Bikram Yoga, High-Wire Brewery, Durham Art Guild, and more. This historic building in Downtown Durham marks all the way back to 1901. Golden Belt combines a vibrant local arts community, airy loft living, and modern offices in historic setting, while also saving space for fun.

What makes me most excited about this shared creative space is its natural light photo studio. As a member of House of Work, you automatically get access to this beautiful studio and props. It is also rentable for non-members. For creatives who often need photos of their work or products, this studio makes content creation a breeze. Started by Hannah of Foxwood Studio, her goal is for House of Work to be a space to gather, collaborate, create, and work. Member and Product Stylist, Janet Lucia St Clair says, “I love House of Work because it is truly a collaborative space where business owners & creatives from many different industries can gather and create together! Not only is the space beautifully designed, but the vibe is always welcoming. There is even a rentable natural light studio in the back with props available for use, which makes it easy for me to shoot products for my clients. Also, it’s located in the Golden Belt near yoga studios, cute coffee shops, food trucks and breweries. House of Work is definitely one of a kind!” With convenient location and Nolia Coffee next door, this coworking space is a great choice.

Photos by Radian Photography


The Locality

Remember our feature on The Flourish Market a few months ago? Emily Sexton has since moved locations and added a private coworking space to the back of her store! The Locality, which launched June 3rd, 2019 is part of the new home for The Flourish Market in The Warehouse District, and is a hub for 50 triangle based female entrepreneurs to connect and collaborate with each other. This gorgeously designed co-working space is designed for like-minded women to connect and support each other in reaching their goals. The Locality offers monthly socials for networking and a monthly development class, on top of coffee and retail discounts. Member and Health coach, Shay Miller says, “The Locality is more than a coworking space – it’s an incubator, a community, and a support system. Female entrepreneurs have a different lens on the professional world and the space is tailored with our needs in mind. It feels like you’re working in an exquisitely designed home office with your closest girlfriends – all who happen to be building empires. I accomplish more in my own business and walk out with new inspiration every day.” If you’re looking for a space in Downtown Raleigh and you’re a female entrepreneur, the design and offerings will definitely leave you wanting to join.

Photos by Adelyn Boling

The Mothership

The Mothership, located in Downtown Durham, is another locally and female owned coworking space. The Mothership is a creative community built around the principle of radical hospitality.  Founders Katie, Megan, and Krista created this space to be a “home for good ideas” and they all believe in the importance of having an accepting community to be a part of. This colorful space was made to be a platform, resource, and a gathering place and it has thus far, accomplished all of that. This spot also has a retail section and event space! Even if you are not currently in need of a coworking space, you should definitely check out the store portion to do some shopping local! They carry local vinyl, vintage clothing, handmade homeware, one of a kind jewelry, textiles, and more.

The Mothership is also walkable to many great restaurants, bars, and walking trails. Another great feature is that your membership is extremely flexible. They have SEVEN different membership options, allowing you to pay for exactly what you need. The Mothership coworking offers freelancers, business owners and remote workers a space for their good ideas. This Downtown Durham coworking space is a focused but laid-back work environment where the coffee is free, dreams are welcome, and community is key. 

Are you a member of a local co-working space? We would love to hear your thoughts! Tag us on Facebook at @urbanmj!



Beyu Caffe and Downtown Durham thrive in diversity

As we wrap up our diversity series here at Urban MJ, this week’s blog post is all about one of Downtown Durham’s most iconic restaurants,  Beyu Caffe, started by passionate thought leader in the African American community, Dorian Bolden. Downtown Durham is one of our favorite areas to explore and when on W Main St., the Jazzy Shrimp and Grits just can’t be turned down. Over the past ten years, Beyu has truly evolved to fit the needs of the community. From opening a sister cafe on Duke’s campus to now starting their catering program, Beyu has tons to offer and has proved to be a Durham staple. Best part of it all–locally owned by a Durham native. Plus, 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. 

After lots of thinking and almost giving up on the idea, Bolden finally decided to give it his all. It all started in 2008, with friends and community members helping Dorian develop Beyu Caffe’s signature coffee blend. Beyu’s signature coffee blend is named Heart & Soul because one of the participants noted that the coffee was smooth and delicious that it touched her very heart and soul. Ten years later the Heart & Soul Blend remains popular and a favorite in the community. In December 2009, Beyu Caffe opened its doors to the public. Then, what started as just a coffee cafe, began garnering regional recognition as a music powerhouse venue. Local performers were constantly filling the Beyu space with food for the ears and music for the soul. Dining at Beyu became more than just dinner, it became an entire experience.

Downtown Durham has seen a long history of greatly successful African American owned businesses and we are so happy to see Beyu thriving over the past decade. I think part of what has made Beyu so successful is Bolden’s passion for diversity in the workforce. Bolden told the Herald Sun in recent years that, “To ensure an equitable mix, you have to pay attention to your hiring process, he said — adding that he doesn’t look at criminal records in that process, and he prioritizes an even male-to-female ratio as well as hiring transgender employees”. Bolden has hosted many cultural and political events in his restaurant as well; daring to be bold and risking butting heads with clients who might have different beliefs. Bolden’s bold moves have led to a thriving business and new endeavors. Beyu’s success is a great explanation on Durham’s history and one of the reasons it is so successful…diversity thrives here and in business also.

For years, Beyu was filled with live music, great food, and coffee. As I mentioned before, what is unique about Beyu is the way they change as their community does. Beyu knows how to pivot and to do it with great success. At the beginning of this year, Beyu Caffe made the difficult decision to say good-bye to its live music operation in order to focus on its coffee and restaurant operations, and concentrate on delivering delicious food and coffee. Though the live music is no longer a part of Beyu, that heart and soul is there and stronger than ever. You can feel Bolden’s passion for community when you walk through the doors. There is a space for all at Beyu Caffe.

The hardwork and difficult changes to make have definitely paid off. Downtown Durham is growing and so are Beyu’s offerings. They are now selling their signature blend by the bag in store and have a great catering service for events small and large. It’s not everyday you find a catering service that can bring shrimp and grits to your work meeting. 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.They use many local ingredients in their dishes as well. From breakfast for someone on the go, or coffee and tables for coworking, there is something for everyone. 


Photography sourced from

Triangle remains outstanding class A apartment value play

Urban MJ founder, Marcus Jackson, recently published a guest post on the blog of Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Click the link down below to hear his thoughts on development opportunities and his insight on how Triangle real estate is changing. Here’s a sneak peek:

North Carolina’s Research Triangle metropolitan area is enjoying significant positive momentum across all real estate market sectors.

In fact, I believe the Great Recession improved our region’s competitive position against the nation’s larger cities. Before the recession, we were considered a second-tier city, both in terms of size and investment climate. Now, we are an institutional investor darling and ranked by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) as the No. 3 U.S. market to watch for real estate prospects in 2019.

Our rapidly growing region has witnessed strong rent appreciation while remaining an outstanding class A apartment value play for tenants and investors alike. The Triangle has also undergone rapid urbanization in the last decade, with billions of dollars of public-private investment in our cities’ urban cores. The ULI now classifies the Triangle as an 18-hour city, increasing our attractiveness to potential talent and investment dollars. There are always silver linings to our down cycles.

Historically, the top driver for the Triangle has been Research Triangle Park (RTP). Founded in 1959 and situated centrally among the region’s anchor cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, RTP is one of the top technology and pharma parks in the world. RTP spans 7,000 acres and is home to 250 companies and 50,000 employees. The Triangle is also known as a top global destination for healthcare and education, thanks to the presence of three tier-one research universities and two teaching hospitals.

To continue reading, click here:

Legends Nightclub celebrates 28 years

As we continue our dive into diversity series here at Urban MJ, this week’s blog post is in celebration of one of Downtown Raleigh’s original settlers of the Warehouse District. Many of you, if you’re local to the Raleigh area, are familiar with the Downtown scene staple, Legends Nightclub. 

Known as one of Raleigh’s best nightclubs, Legends has become a nightlife staple. The popular nightclub just celebrated its 28th anniversary and we thought what better way to celebrate than to dive into the Legends history. What started out as an old repair shop in the late 50s, has now grown into one of Raleigh’s largest nightclubs and has made a huge impact on the city. 

Legends stands for diversity and acceptance, but did not always have an easy time doing so. A short time after opening, Legends was facing lawsuits from the city with claims that Legends was performing illegal entertainment. The Legends owners were faced with a year and a half long battle with the State Supreme Court, just to be able to keep their doors open. Their long and costly battle has been well worth it. Legends has given many locals a place to express themselves and speak their truth. Legends is also a big supporter for many nonprofits such as the LGBT Center of Raleigh, Alliance of AIDS Services of the Carolinas, A Place at the Table, and many other organizations. Their passion for diversity has had a positive impact on our community and continues to be a true model of diversity. 

Legends has also played a major role in the economic development and urban revitalization of Raleigh and the Warehouse District. The nightclub is THE original entertainment retail in Downtown Raleigh. Not only did Legends start the movement of gay nightclubs into the Raleigh area, but also had a major impact of the movement of other retail into the disctrict as well. When Legends began, the Warehouse District was nothing like it is now. . When they started, it truly was like the name, only home to warehouses. Land prices have skyrocketed from about $500,000 an acre to now about $8,000,000 an acre. The success of Legends proved that the Warehouse District was going to be a good place to be located and they are now neighbored by the Dillon, Raleigh’s first food hall, and soon to be open, Weaver Street Market. There are also huge real estate plans for towers to be built all around it. Legends and its contribution has essentially turned The Warehouse District into “The Creative District”. Its own real estate has dramatically risen in value, but Legends plans at least another 28 years.

Legends Nightclub in Raleigh, NC has been the leader in LGBT nightlife in the Triangle. Many clubs followed once Legends proved successful, but Legends reigns as the original gay nightclub. If you visit Legends today, you can clearly see that all of Raleigh loves it. You will find men and women, gay and straight, of all ages. Legends has become a nightclub that welcomes all people, regardless of what your preferences are. As their website states, “Legends Nightclub Complex is what you want it to be!” And it is THE place to visit for a drag show. Legends was the first in Raleigh to house drag shows and to become a drag professional nationally, you would have to go through Legends for that kind of recognition.

As their success has grown, so has their space. Legends Nightclub now has four large sections: The Spotlight Theater where all the drag shows happen, an outdoor patio bar, and an indoor bar with an arcade area, and their indoor dance club area. So whether you just want a drink, play some arcade games, or see a drag show, Legends is the place to go. 

Congratulations to Legends Nightclub and cheers to your 28th birthday! If you have not checked out this welcoming place in Downtown Raleigh, it’s a must see! 


Tiny Farms, Big Impact

We all know, fresh is better. Calavera Empanadas and Tequila has not only found themselves a fresh location, but is bringing even more freshness to Raleigh’s food scene with their innovative processes.

Previously housed on East Davie Street, Calavera Empanadas and Tequila has now moved into what used to be Moonlight Pizza on West Morgan Street. With the wide open patio space and the great big kitchen, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to expand.

Calavera closed temporarily in February after more than six years in business. They had originally planned to move into the old home of Tasty 8’s on Fayetteville Street, but things did not go according to plan, and aren’t we glad it happened that way? Things started to fall into place with the new space and now when you sit outside at Calavera under the patio lights, it couldn’t be more perfect. One thing that makes Calavera quite unique compared to other Raleigh restaurants can be seen by simply walking by the front of their location. Right in front of their doors are garden beds where they are growing their own ingredients! It is a growing trend for restaurants to use locally sourced ingredients from within Raleigh and NC, but how many restaurants can say that they proudly grow a selection of their very own?

Hyper-local food sourcing, or when a restaurant grows its own ingredients, is the number one concept trend this year among restaurants and this is one urban trend we are very happy to support. Urban farming plays a huge role in the wellbeing of our city. A city growing as exponentially as Raleigh, produces more and more waste as it grows, and urban farming can help to turn urban waste around into something great, and in this case, delicious. 

Not only does urban farming and hyper local sourcing help our city’s environment, but it also ensures the highest quality. Chefs and owners will never have to worry about recalls or what may have been used to grow the produce. Calavera currently has 4 different gardens that are all growing lettuce, jalapenos, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and other fresh herbs and vegetables used in their amazing tasting offerings. You can taste the freshness one bite into the guac! Their menu is simple, which as someone who always has a hard time deciding what to eat, I adore. Each menu item has a simple list of its ingredients and it was so fun to see the ingredients and then head over to the garden beds to see which items would have the most urban farmed. 

They specialize in, you guessed it, empanadas and tequila. Their cocktails are made with house made mixes and garnished with herbs fresh from their garden. As their website reads,  “No syrupy lime juice from a plastic bottle.  Check out the guns on those bartenders, everyday they squeeze a lot of limes to make sure that you are getting the best.” Know that when you visit Calavera, you are hands down getting the best quality available.

Another fantastic part about Calavera is its location. This space is right in the Boylan Heights neighborhood making it a hot spot close to so many family homes. Funny enough, it is equally as close to Raleigh’s new coworking space, WeWork.

When you are sitting outside on the patio you can literally see the WeWork sign and its building, making Calavera not only walkable from home, but also from the office. Whether you’re craving empanadas for lunch or want a post work cocktail, this is the perfect spot. 

We hope to see other local restaurants hop on the urban farming trend! We will always be keeping an eye out to share. Give Calavera a try and take a picture on the picturesque patio (there are string lights). If you share on social media, tag us on Facebook, @UrbanMJblog

Freshness for All


A new and thankful urban trend that goes along side the push for affordable housing. It is all about providing equal access to life’s benefits for those less economically fortunate. How about providing healthy foods equal access? Forward thinking cities are taking charge.

This topic bring to mind one of our articles earlier in the year about local nonprofit cafe, A Place at the Table. A Place at the Table is proud to serve alongside the more than 60 other pay-what-you-can restaurants in the global One World Everybody Eats network. Head west to Boone and you’ll find their mentor restaurant, F.A.R.M. Café ,one of the most successful models in the country.

Visitors of these cafes can pay the suggested prices, pay at least half the suggested price, or pay by volunteering at the cafe! Visitors can also pay for someone else’s meal or purchase a $10 token that pays for a future visitor’s meal.

Many urban community gardens have harvests open to all. Residents are fully welcome to help tend to these gardens, harvest the crop, and take home some freshness. Aside from the availability to fresh and locally grown food, these gardens also bring together people of all kinds living in the same community. These establishments and gardens bring us all together over what we all have in common, the hunger for something great.


Check out some of the laws being pushed for community gardens: 

The Delivery Service app in Durham changing the game

At this point, we all have heard about Uber, Postmates, UberEats, and of course Amazon Prime Now. Fast delivery and instant gratification are something we are all becoming accustomed to and businesses are picking their brains on how to make their service and experience the most convenient. The new delivery app, goPuff, has just taken the concept of a convenience store to the next level.

GoPuff was built with the mission to give you more “me time”. GoPuff is the first digital convenience retailer; they deliver thousands of items to doors daily so that no one ever has to go out of their way again. Had a bad day and want a pint of Ben and Jerry’s delivered to your door so they don’t see you ugly crying? There’s an app for that. Feeling sick and can’t get out of bed, but you won’t get any better without medicine? goPuff has the problem solved. From medicine to your favorite junk food to cleaning supplies, goPuff is the coolest delivery app we have seen yet in the Triangle area.

“We like to say we deliver in the moments that matter most,” says Liz Romaine, goPuff’s director of communications. Think of those moments when you are at the end of your last roll of toilet paper, or you forget to buy dog food on your way home from work. Now these items can come to you with a flat-rate delivery fee of $1.29.”

GoPuff currently has a fully functioning warehouse in Durham where deliveries are in full swing from 12:00 pm to 4:30 am daily. The company is also starting to service the nearby city of Raleigh as well.

Let’s talk history and how this whole operation is now able to service thousands of Durham locals. In 1897, the Carpenter family got into the feed and buggy business. It all began when J. E. Carpenter opened a small grocery store in East Durham. In 1901, J. E. and his brother, J. W. Carpenter together with their father Duane Carpenter formed a partnership to deal in heavy groceries, feed stuffs, wagons, and buggies.

As time passed, the buggy phase turned into the time of the vehicle. The family then got a Chevy franchise in 1915 and then built their official dealership in 1923. This Chevrolet building stood strong and was then sold in 2015 to the City for the new Police Headquarters.  And the Carpenters parlayed their profit into more investment in Downtown Durham in the way of a vacant urban industrial building. They proceeded to redevelop it and now we have goPuff.

Isn’t it funny how much history a building can hold? And how about this story going from the horse and buggy era to retail dot coms? I have been able to see this process and have been apart of all three deals…from selling the dealership, buying in the future goPuff building, and then selling it. Who would have thought that a feed and buggy startup would now hold an app headquarters? Life and culture is ever changing and what a feeling it is to embrace it all.

Top 5 Picks for Experiential Retail in Durham

  1. Parker and Otis

112 South Duke St

There is only one place in Durham where you can get a latte, lunch, and the perfect birthday gift all at once, and that is Parker & Otis. Parker & Otis is a unique combination of restaurant and gift shop. Located in historic Downtown Durham, they are open seven days a week, serving breakfast and lunch with an amazing array of gifts, gourmet foods, cheese, wine and candy. Their menu is created with many locally sourced ingredients and coffee from Durham’s very own, Counter Culture. Aside from ingredients grown and handpicked in the Triangle, they also have other goods from all over NC. From Winston to Wilmington, Parker & Otis carries all sorts of baked goods and other non perishables in their shop.

Whether you’re shopping for a birthday, making a gift basket for a friend going through a hard time, or just want a new coffee spot to hang with your friends, Parker & Otis is a must try.


2. Vert and Vogue

353 W. Main St

Before I tell you about this story, fall in love with its story, “Nadira and Ryan Hurley, founders of Vert & Vogue, met in Paris in 2001 at a men’s boutique managed by Nadira. After buying a new wardrobe from her, Ryan couldn’t help but ask Nadira out on a date. After a little persistence (she didn’t date her customers), she accepted. They were soon married in 2002. Following a honeymoon year living in Paris, they moved to New York and started a family. They soon found themselves in the suburbs wanting more. For Ryan, that meant a green business. For Nadira, a return to retail fashion. From those intentions, the concept of Vert & Vogue was born. The gritty revitalizing city of Durham would become its perfect home. Nadira and Ryan opened the doors of Vert & Vogue on September 10, 2008.” Vert and Vogue is known for being the best selection of contemporary goods for women from today’s top independent designers and they fully live up to the expectation.

Vert & Vogue goes above and beyond a simple clothing store. They offer mindfully-made designs and personal styling, with care. They curate hard-to-find clothes, shoes, accessories, and home goods and have a heart for quality. Coolest of all is that in December 2017, they became a certified B Corp. They are committed to supporting artisans who create on a small scale and focus on sustainable practices. Take a closer look at the quality of your closet, and then step into Vert & Vogue to make some important changes.  


3. The Zen Succulent

121 Market Street

When mother/daughter team of Margaret and Megan George started their shop in a small space on Parrish Street, they had no clue that their plant shop would become THE place to see in Durham. From people wanting to go there and take photographs, or just to be able to post and say that they finally got to check it out, Zen Succulent quickly became a popular location and taught us all how to care for plants like children. Now, they have opened a second location in Downtown Raleigh AND have recently moved to a bigger Downtown Durham space due to their large success. From unique succulents to a build your own terrarium station, there is so much beauty to see and experience. They strive to bring fresh air and brightness into locals lives and if you haven’t visited their shop yet, it is a must.


4. Chet Miller

Photo by: Walter Magazine

118 West Parrish St

Welcome to the coolest store ever. Filled with local goods and other independently makers, Chet Miller has a variety of elevated goods for everyday life and also cards and books that will make you laugh your butt off. Chet Miller is the perfect locally owned shop to find a gift for someone who has everything, but then will also make you want to buy many pretty little things for yourself. For example, last time I visited Chet Miller, I left with a hilarious book about Kim Kardashian for a friend just because it was one of those random gifts that you would never buy for yourself, but instantly love it. Then, I also left with a blanket that was so soft I couldn’t leave without it.

From paper products to cookbooks to beautiful office supplies, Chet Miller is filled with things that spark joy. If you want some gifts that have some personality to them, this needs to be your next visit.


5. Bungalow

339 W. Main St

Located in the heart of Five Points, Bungalow features eclectic home decor, handcrafted stoneware, fine French linens, hand-forged pewter from Italy, local woodcraft, local folk art, Portuguese soaps, local all-natural skincare and bath products, silk pillows from Turkey, North Carolina crafted leather, and fine stationery. When it comes down to it, Bungalow is a beautiful space filled with unique finds to add to your home. From kitchen to bed linens, if you want to furnish your living space with more than the basic Bed, Bath, and Beyond, switch to Bungalow.


Thank you all for joining us at Urban MJ! We hope to continue to serve as an educator of urban development, economic growth, and the best of the best local goods and services! Follow us along to stay in the know of upcoming Triangle news and industry updates!

A Street Where Cars are Illegal. Yes, it is true.

Can you imagine car free streets!? Ones only meant for buses so that even more people can getting where they need to be, all at once. Imagine if we prioritized things a little differently. A bus can carry 20 people all at one in one vehicle, creating no morning traffic. What if we made our schedule in effort to be better for the environment?

In Downtown Brooklyn Street, Fulton Street is restricted to cars. It is illegal to drive your car on this city street!! Unimaginable to us, but a lesson to be learned and a neat concept to think about. 20,000 people ride daily in that city’s bus system and cars illegally driving on this street create many issues.

Check out this article to learn about this city’s car stopping effort: