AAPI Heritage Month with Cafe Cà Phê: Chad Barnes

By Kelcie McKenney
Photos by Travis Young

For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with Catcall magazine to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Read the intro here, and stick around this week to hear their stories.

What’s your title at Cafe Cà Phê?

Barista

Where is your family’s country of origin? 

My father is from Malaysia (Kuching to be exact)

What brought you and/or your family to Kansas City?

My husband and I moved to Kansas City for school and work.

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AAPI Heritage Month with Cafe Cà Phê: Phon Wills

By Kelcie McKenney
Photos by Travis Young

For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with Catcall magazine to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Read the intro here, and stick around this week to hear their stories.

What’s your title at Cafe Cà Phê?

Photographer + Content Creator

Where is your family’s country of origin? 

Laos

What brought you and/or your family to Kansas City?

My parents originally started in Boston, but had friends in KC who convinced them to move to the area and start a life here.

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The Cafe Cà Phê team is serving up hella good coffee, culture, and AAPI inclusion.

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.”

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Black communities paved the way for Asian-American communities. Here’s how Asian-Americans can support #BlackLivesMatter

By Ishani Doshi

I want to share these resources for other Asian Americans to help understand how importantly Allyship is for People of Color. If your family immigrated after 1965, you are here because of the Civil Rights Movement and the passing of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Asian American communities exist because Black communities in America paved the way for us, and made it possible for us to seek a better life for our families. We need to do our part both within our own communities and externally to ensure we are part of the solution and not the problem of racial injustice.

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