South LA Cafe

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Who we are

Hi! We're Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace.

We are Local Stakeholders. Community Leaders. Impact Entrepreneurs. Culture Preservers. Content Creators. Experience Curators. Most importantly, Community Connectors.

We both grew up in the nearby area and moved just 10 blocks from the South LA Cafe almost 20 years ago, right before we were married. We started the South LA Cafe because, after decades of living in a food desert, we wanted fresh, affordable, and healthy food options for ourselves and our neighbors. Instead of waiting for it to arrive, we decided to take a leap of faith and provide it ourselves. We believed if we build it, they would come, and we are so grateful that you did! South LA Cafe is a community space to take pride in the history, legacy, and future of the South Central LA Community.

WHAT WE DO

We're on a mission to fight racial, social, economic, and food inequity through coffee, community, and connection. We are committed to creating equal access to fresh and healthy options for our South LA community that can be found in other neighborhoods, but with pricing that is affordable. We are committed to becoming a central hub in the community where everyone will know your name, and where you will feel a sense of belonging.

South LA Cafe’s Impact

These impact stats showcase the ACTIVISM and VISION South LA Cafe was founded on and created in partnership with their 501c3 the SLAC Foundation and other community partners.

515K

Meals Provided

72K

Residents Served

20K

grocery bags distributed

150

Volunteers Activated

100

entrepreneurs trained

50

Businesses Mentored

40

Jobs created

20

Local Organizations Supported

10K

covid tested

100

Residents Vaccinated

Welcome to
South Central
Los Angeles

Why South Central

South Central LA is a historically Black community which resulted due to redlining and white flight. What was once a thriving family community was systematically broken by the pumping of drugs into the community, mass incarceration, police brutality and intentional disinvestment.

What was once a forgotten and "undesirable" community, is now considered "up-and-coming" and is facing the harsh realities of cultural erasure and displacement as a result of commercial development and gentrification.

As a result, South LA Cafe was created as a safe space for local Black & Brown folks where the culture is celebrated, honored, and preserved.

A Black Cultural Hub

Central Avenue

In response to redlining, black people did what they do best and created a thriving community. It was the heyday of Central Avenue as a Jazz District, known as the West Coast Harlem.

A Thriving Neighborhood

Deep Family Roots

With the rise of manufacturing jobs, the communities of West Adams, Leimert Park and Baldwin Hills grew to become thriving middle-class and upper-middle-class African American areas.

A Political Epicenter

Civil Rights

South Central Los Angeles was a political epicenter for the international Civil Rights Movement. It was the stomping ground of the greatest black leftists of all time.

A Proud Legacy

Current Day

With the development of the Crenshaw Corridor, USC, The Coliseum, and the Banc of California Stadium, South Central LA today is a rapidly growing community.

South LA Cafe

South Central LA is a historically Black community which resulted due to redlining and white flight. What was once a thriving family community was systematically broken by the pumping of drugs into the community, mass incarceration, police brutality and intentional disinvestment. What was once a forgotten and "undesirable" community, is now considered "up-and-coming" and is facing the harsh realities of cultural erasure and displacement as a result of commercial development and gentrification. As a result, South LA Cafe was created as a safe space for local Black & Brown folks where the culture is celebrated, honored, and preserved.

South LA Market

South Central LA is a food desert, with only 91 grocery stores serving nearly 500,000 residents. Generations of systemic racism and harm has led to unequal access to healthy food which results in higher rates of diseases, poorer quality of life, and shorter life spans as much as 12 years for South Central residents! We aim to be an antidote and deliver equity and access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.

Coffee is how we bring people. Community & Connection is what is created.

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