By: Jazmine Clark, Apr 2021
In the definition of trailblazing, you will find the words innovative and pioneer. When I think of Jackie Nguyen she truly embodies the meaning. She is the Owner of Kansas City’s very first Vietnamese Coffee Shop. Moving to Kansas City less than a year ago, she has used coffee and her passion for the Asian community to make a tremendous impact locally.
I was thrilled to interview Jackie and enjoyed hearing about her acting career, how she started Cafe Cà Phê during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her pop-up shops with local minority and small businesses.
Jackie has so many fascinating layers. She was heavily involved in theatre and stayed on the road for some time. When the pandemic began she spent time creating Cafe Cà Phê, a mobile Vietnamese coffee shop currently located in Kansas City’s West Bottoms!
If you haven’t visited Cafe Cà Phê you are truly missing out. Before entering, there is a gorgeous mural painted on the wall nearest the main door. Once inside, the first thing you notice is Cafe Cà Phê mobile Coffee Shop with vibrant colors and touches of Vietnamese décor. As you look to your right there is nothing but open space, perfect for Jackie’s Pop-up shops.
Being first-generation Vietnamese, Jackie drew from her culture and what she would see at home to create Cafe Cà Phê and its menu.
Q: What would you say is your favorite drink?
A: I would say I have 2! My first favorite drink would be the “Saigon,” which is the classic Vietnamese iced coffee. It’s basically like slow-dripped coffee with condensed milk. It’s the quintessential drink you would find anywhere in Vietnam and any Vietnamese restaurant in America.
The second would be the “Hella Good Latte.” So, with that one, I felt really creative doing it, and I love how it tastes. It uses a flavor called, “Ube,” which is a purple sweet potato of Southeast Asia. I feel like it’s also broadening people's tastes and palettes. It’s also fun, it’s purple! There are so many elements of the drink that I like!
While brewing delicious Coffee creations, Jackie is also using her spacious venue to host cool pop-up shops with an amazing reason behind them.
Before Cafe Cà Phê was on wheels, Jackie would ask local businesses if she could pop-up at their shops to serve coffee and network. A lot of businesses would immediately agree which in return, gave Jackie a lot of experience and exposure. She knew that she wanted to do the same for other businesses and truly believes in the power of working together. Jackie has been located in the West Bottoms for the past 3 months and is using the remaining 6 weeks she has left in the space to collaborate with as many artists, women, and minority business owners as possible.
Jackie has also been using her voice and space to bring awareness to hate crimes and hardships that the Asian community has been facing. Most, recently she collaborated with a friend and hosted a live-streamed vigil to honor the lives of the Asian Community that were tragically taken due to hateful acts in Atlanta. Jackie plans to continue to uplift, spread knowledge, and share ways everyone can help the Asian Community during these trying times.
To learn more about the Asian Community and the fight against hate crimes, you can visit cafecaphe.com!
To indulge in some of Jackie’s favorite coffee drinks and more, you can visit Cafe Cà Phê at 1101 Mulberry St, Kansas City, MO 64101. Once Jackie leaves her temporary space, she plans to possibly hit the roads of Kansas City, so you never know where she might pop up next. To collaborate with Jackie and follow her coffee adventures, you can connect with her on Instagram at Cafecaphe.
Also, to stay up to date on all things Jeanne Nuage and to hear from more amazing women, follow us on Instagram at @jeanne.nuage.