“I’m most proud of the fact that I get to be in business with my sister.
I’m Jeronica Macey and I’m Be'Anka Ashaolu, and we're Nirvana Soul. What inspired me to start my business is actually our grandmother. We spent our childhood with her and she was a coffee drinker. We always would drink the last bit of her coffee with lots of sugar and cream at that time. That was like our time of beauty and togetherness and that's just what I loved.
I’ve been on this journey for about 20 years. This has definitely become a big passion of mine and I’ve always known I wanted to have a coffee shop. The story that we're trying to bring folks when they visit Nirvana Soul is a story of inspiration. We challenge folks to know that they can do hard things. It's our tagline since we have done a very hard thing, but it's been a lot of fun. We created a space that we think is creative and fun and helps bring out the best in other people. No matter what their dream is, we truly believe that they can do it too.
Our business fits in our community by offering a space to help other people come up and share their talents. We do open mics every Thursday. There are a lot of people who have a lot of talent so I think that allowing a space for those people is pretty huge. We also run an artist program so all the artwork on the walls in our shop are from local artists. Most of them are women and people of color and many of them have never exhibited before. We change out our artwork every single quarter and within quarters we'll run two week exhibits that are themed. We are always reaching out to artists and artists are always reaching out to us because we have built this shop with this community.
The biggest challenge of being a small business is probably deciding what to do next for us. We have so much support from this community so I think we are still trying to figure out what opportunities we want to take on.
We are San Jose girls and we want to make sure that we're always true to that. We're also black women and we want to be true to that as well. We always want to make sure that this space feels like home for people.”