Black American-Owned Coffee Shop In Baltimore Inspired By Spike Lee And Reparations Theme

Black American-Owned Coffee Shop In Baltimore Inspired By Spike Lee And Reparations Theme


Travis Bell, photo via LinkedIn

Baltimore, Maryland, is home to a plethora of coffee shops, but one stands out not just for its brews, but for its message rooted in history. Black Acres Roastery, on Greenmount Avenue in East Baltimore, is more than just a place to grab a cup of java—it’s a tribute to Black history.

Owner Travis Bell drew inspiration for the name “Black Acres” from Spike Lee‘s renowned film company, “40 Acres and a Mule.” This symbolic reference harkens back to the promise of land reparations for Black Americans, a promise unfulfilled. Bell saw an opportunity to create a space where coffee, culture, and community intersect.

“The name came from Spike Lee, actually,” owner Bell told KRDO. “I’m a big fan of Spike Lee, ’40 Acres and a Mule’ film company.”

He added, “Black acres were plots of land in the south that were supposed to be provided for reparations, so that name, the farming aspect of it, the agriculture, just really sat with me, so I felt Black Acres was appropriate.”

The journey of Black Acres Roastery began with Bell’s desire for easy access to quality coffee.

“Living in Baltimore for about 10 years now, I’ve always wanted to get easy access to coffee, and I thought, ‘What better way than to roast my own?’”

Roasting and sourcing beans from Africa and South America since 2018, Bell has crafted a unique coffee experience that transcends the ordinary café ambiance. His vision led to the opening of a second location in Lexington Market, further expanding the reach of Black Acres’ brews, CBS News reported.“We have a huge contract with Trader Joe’s, so currently, that is our biggest wholesaler right now,” Bell said. “We are in 60 stores across the Mid-Atlantic.

But Bell’s path to coffee entrepreneurship was a departure from his previous career as an occupational therapist. Making a complete 180-degree turn, he embraced the world of coffee with passion.

Travis Bell, photo via LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/travis-bell-b781a598/overlay/photo/