Meet Autumn Lovewell, the co-owner of Youngstown Coffee in West Seattle, WA. At Youngstown, Autumn and her wife and co-owner Monica serve up not only delicious coffee and treats but also space for community engagement and support for social justice causes. The duo also operates Heartbeet Cafe in West Seattle and Queen Anne.
Learn more about Autumn and Youngstown Coffee in this Business Spotlight Q&A.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in & why?
Our favorite part of being in the Morgan Junction of West Seattle is the heart and spirit of the people who live and work here. There are a handful of small businesses that are family owned and the mutual love and support of each other is really felt and shows up in practical ways.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
We hope that all consumers across the world spend their money at diverse small businesses as much as they’re practically able to within their budget. Diverse small businesses have made the world run for centuries and only in the past century have we seen a turn to more corporatization which has taken a toll on our diverse populations, especially BIPOC communities. Because of this disadvantage we hope to see folks (especially privileged folks) put money back into these communities to lift them up and provide a more abundant livelihood.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
Most of our customers don’t know that half of our staff live with an autoimmune disorder, and it can be hard to make sure shifts are covered when one of us has a flare up. Our illness is invisible which also makes it difficult for customers to know when one of us may not be feeling 100%. We’re proud to be owned and operated by folks with disabilities as we deserve to be able to own a business and work in it despite our limitations.