Your Cart is Empty

Makeda & Mingus Cafe - 10 Years Strong in PhinneyWood

by Sean L. March 03, 2017 3 min read

Makeda & Mingus Cafe - 10 Years Strong in PhinneyWood

Makeda & Mingus Cafe is a community nook of a cafe in the Phinney Ridge - Greenwood neighborhood of North Seattle.  As the first home of Seven Coffee Roasters, Prashanthi Reddy took over the spot almost a decade ago and renamed it Makeda Coffee.  

In 2015 Prashanthi reinvented her shop as Makeda & Mingus Cafe, a tribute to Mingus, her five-year-old Rat Terrier pup and official shop greeter.  Seattle Eater published an article on the change here.


Makeda & Mingus Coffee Sign
(photo outside of Makeda & Mingus - courtesy of @Makeda.And.Mingus)

We sat down with Prashanthi to take a look at what it's like to own a small business and a cafe for 10 years, no small feat in and of itself:

Sean: Hi Prash, can you give us a brief history of your shop? When did you open, what made you decide on the concept, How did you choose the name, etc.

Prashanthi: We opened June 1, 2008.  Makeda is another name for Queen of Sheba.  Queen Makeda was the Queen of Ethiopia, thought to be the origin of coffee.  I chose to own a coffee shop because while I was going to college in the 90's and while everyone else was socializing in bars and clubs, I hung out in coffee shops.  I wanted to provide a similar type of community with Makeda.

Sean:What did you do before opening up your shop? I think a lot of people get curious as to the circumstances of opening up a small business and want to understand the mindset and process of going from an employee to self-employed. Can you speak on that process?

Prashanthi: I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years prior to opening Makeda.  I enjoy creating and making coffee.  I also treasure the different types of personalities that walk through my door on a daily basis.  They've become like family to me and I value that community far greater than anything I've experienced in the pharmaceutical industry.

Sean:Hows’ it going so far? How are you handling the balance between work and personal time?

Prashanthi: Well, it's up to me to schedule personal time.  The decision becomes do I hire it out vs. do it myself.  It's a balance of "can I afford it?" and how much time do I want.  It's a learning experience for sure.

Makeda & Mingus Specialty Drink - Humpty Hump
(photo of the Makeda Humpty Hump - courtesy of @Makeda.And.Mingus)

Sean:Do you have any recommendations to someone thinking about becoming self-employed? Any small business life lessons that you can pass on to a younger version of yourself?

Prashanthi: Talk to other small business owners before taking the plunge.  Consider taking a business class or two - lessons in Accounting or Marketing can be a big advantage.  Look, we all have a dream as business owners, mine is making coffee and being a part of a small close-knit community.  The reality is that you'll need to master many other tasks and skills that have nothing to do with your passion.

Sean:  What are your biggest challenges right now as a small business?

Prashanthi: Staffing.  Because of our smaller shop, our employees must be able to multi-task.  Making great coffee while interacting with customers in an authentic, efficient manner is a must.  It's difficult finding barista that can do both well.

Sean:  How can we follow your business? Website, social media, email, contact info?

Prashanthi:  Facebook - @Makeda.And.Mingus.  Twitter - @makeda_mingus.  Instagram - @makeda.and.mingus

 Sunrise from Makeda & Mingus
(photo of the sunrise from Makeda & Mingus Cafe - courtesy of @Makeda.And.Mingus)

Unlabeled photos courtesy of Sandra Coan Photography.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Seven Coffee Roasters Blog

Candy Cane Lane is Back!
Candy Cane Lane is Back!

by Kyle Fitzgerald September 02, 2021 1 min read

Read More
Separating Coffee from its Container & Our New Environmental Fund
Separating Coffee from its Container & Our New Environmental Fund

by BTown Web Collaborator January 30, 2020 1 min read

As Seattle’s first zero waste shop, we took a bold but natural next step. Traditional bring your own mug discounts are common in Seattle, but we can do better.
Read More
We've Eliminated Cling Wrap
We've Eliminated Cling Wrap

by BTown Web Collaborator January 30, 2020 2 min read

Cling wrap can’t be recycled with other plastic films and wraps. It’s been a long process, but we have eliminated every piece of plastic wrap produced by our cafe.
Read More