By Kelcie McKenney
For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with The Pitch to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Stick around this month to hear their stories.
Cafe Cà Phê makes a damn good cup of coffee. But mixed in with the Vietnamese drip and sweetened condensed milk is the recipe for representation.
If you’re tapped into the Kansas City coffee scene, chances are you’ve heard Jackie Nguyen’s story. But we’ll give you a quick refresher. Nguyen, a first-generation Vietnamese American, left Broadway at the start of the pandemic, moved to Kansas City, and opened Cafe Cà Phê—Kansas City’s first Vietnamese mobile coffee shop. And since then, Nguyen and her coffee shop have positioned themselves as advocates for KC’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
“When I grew up, I felt so ashamed to be Asian. I thought it was so uncool, and I felt like we were always teased and looked down upon,” Nguyen said. “I do not ever want any Asian kid to feel that way because it’s so far from the truth. I hope to combat that.”