Cultivating community, one cup of coffee at a time
Coffee means different things to different people. For some, it’s a morning ritual, or a much-needed caffeine jolt, to others it’s a way of life—but to Jackie Nguyen, owner of Cafe Cà Phê it’s about culture.
Jackie is a first-generation, Vietnamese American, daughter of a refugee. And after ten years of being a New Yorker and performing in ten International and National Broadway tours, she decided to pivot from the stage and relocate to Kansas City, MO to start her own traveling Vietnamese coffee shop, Cafe Cà Phê.
After a trip to Vietnam, Jackie was inspired by the coffee culture—how it was “less about work and more about being.” To her, coffee shops aren’t all about sucking down wifi and rapidly making business calls. It’s a slower pace of life. One where patrons decompress, come together, and ultimately “kick it”.
Jackie chats with us some more:
- What drove you to start your business?
“After graduating from California State University, with a BFA in Musical Theatre, I moved to New York City to pursue a career on Broadway. I was an actor in New York for about 10 years, doing a lot of touring productions, including most recently, traveling the country with the Broadway Revival Tour of Miss Saigon.
I started Cafe Cà Phê because I really wanted to do something that was impactful for the community and bring people together. Plus, it also allowed me utilize my creativity at the same time.”
- What are three words that describe you best?
“Tenacious, honest, eclectic.”
What’s something that not too many people know about you?
“Although it doesn’t seem like it, I’m incredibly introverted.”
Another fun fact: “I’ve met Bill Clinton twice!”
- Who inspires you?
“Oprah Winfrey has by far been my biggest inspiration. I look to her as an example of success, wealth, and kindness. My mom is also one of my biggest inspirations as she helps inspire my strength, will, and perseverance.”
- What’s one item you could never live without?