Have you ever wondered what you could do to give back? Have you ever wanted your own local neighborhood cafe and bakery? Have you wanted one that serves your favorite fresh food and amazing coffee? Black Sheep Coffee Cafe was created for this community, to fill this need.
We asked our community members to fill out surveys to help us design, decorate, and fill our kitchen with the foods they wanted. We host local live music on the weekends, and adorn our walls with local artists' work. The Black Sheep also makes it a priority to give back as much as we are able, not only by providing a welcoming place for community members, but also through donations to local charities. Currently, the Black Sheep is working with Restorative Justice Council of South Saint Paul, and the American Cancer Society to help organize and raise funds.
Why Black Sheep? Where did the name come from? We were thinking about coffee, what we wanted to serve, what it would mean to introduce a place into this town, and we thought- “Well, we’ll certainly stand out a bit.” This got us to thinking what it means to be different, to not sacrifice quality or service for the sake of becoming a national or even regional chain. It’s tough to do. To make even one baked recipe, one coffee drink, requires concentration, care, quality ingredients, clean and efficient machinery, and training. We believe that the difference is clear. That difference makes us a bit of a Black Sheep.
The original name was suggested to us by a customer and friend who told us a story:
“In Ireland, my grandmother told me about Black Sheep, also sometimes called sheep of the damned. A shepherd will use Black Sheep to mark the flock, for every one hundred white sheep you may have one Black. It becomes the sign of success, of wealth and culture. When you have a Black Sheep, you can finally enjoy the bread and butter.”
We thought that Saint Paul had finally built enough “regular” coffee shops that we could now have one Black Sheep Coffee Cafe. We hope that the flock, this customer base that is willing to learn about what makes quality, what makes the difference, will grow large enough for us to have more Black Sheep.