A mom and her girls serve Afro-Latina flavors

It all started with a class assignment that asked students to write down what they wanted to do in the future.

“To take over my mom’s cafe,” seventh-grader Imena wrote.

When Aida Villegas found her daughter’s homework assignment while cleaning the house, she immediately called her oldest daughter. “She wants to take over the coffee,” she said.

“What coffee?” Catherine asked.

Since Imena was 2 years old, she’d heard her mother talk about her dream of opening to cafe It didn’t seem to matter that at the time the cafe existed only as a collection of loose leaf papers and plans written in a black notebook.

For 15 years, Villegas had been jotting down ideas, envisioning a small Caribbean restaurant, but wanted to take “baby steps” and open a cafe first to see if she could grow the business.

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