Afternoons at Collective Avenue Coffee are about as far removed from a typical third-wave coffee shop as you can get. The worker-owned cooperative cafe, founded by Kateri Gutierrez and Jonathan Robles, occupies the concession window at the Lucy Avalos Community Center at Yvonne Burke-John D. Ham Park in Lynwood, in southeast Los Angeles County, so instead of blond wood and succulents there’s a ping-pong table and a pile of backpacks.
And instead of the usual pristine hush, the soundtrack is the kinetic chaos of preteen tomfoolery. Kids run and shout and dribble basketballs inside, but Gutierrez and Robles wouldn’t have it any other way.
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