The first Latina-owned cafe in the Twin Cities opened in St. Paul to celebrate heritage and break down barriers.
If you step into Abogados Café, the gourmet coffee bar and mercadito takes you thousands of miles from the Como Park neighborhood and drops you off in a small Latin American town.
Bright colors adorn the walls and Mexican talavera tiles line the floors, bringing Latino culture to every corner of the café.
“We wanted to bring the Latin American coffee experience to Minnesota,” said Ofelia Ponce, owner of Abogados Café. “We wanted to stay true to our origins. Not only our heritage, but where we come from.
The married couple, Ponce and Inti Martínez-Alemán, welcomed their first customers in early June by offering organic and fair trade coffee from Latin America, while blending their heritage and life passions in every cup.
“We are both abogados, which means lawyers in Spanish. We are both lawyers in Honduras,” Ponce said.
Every coffee name comes with a hint of law. For example, the sweet coconut latte is called “Motion Granted”.
“What a nice feeling to have your motion granted on your behalf or on behalf of your client? said Martínez-Alemán.
Martínez-Alemán serves clients in his own law firm, Ceiba Fôrte, which is in the same building a short walk from the café.
“Ninety percent of our clients are Hispanic, and we serve them in areas of law where there are few or no Spanish-speaking lawyers,” he said.
Martínez-Alemán has served clients with heritage from all over Latin America. It strives to fill a void in legal areas where there are not enough Spanish-speaking lawyers to advise the community.
“Serving is what we are here for,” he said.
Whether it’s breaking down the barriers of legal advice or inspiring other Latinas to start their own businesses, Ponce and Martínez-Alemán said they want to leave their mark on the community.
“I won’t be the last, so I’m very happy the door opened,” Ponce said. “I’m so grateful to the community.”
Ponce said the goal is to have indoor seating in the future so people can sit inside and enjoy the coffee and the culture.
Abogados Café is located at 1053 Dale St. N. and is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.