Hodgepodge Coffeehouse: From Dream to Reality
There are plenty of reasons to love Hodgepodge Coffeehouse. From the homey atmosphere filled with natural light to the friendly faces serving handcrafted beverages, the entire experience feels authentic. We spoke to co-owner, Krystle Rodriguez, to learn how the magic all began.
She had the dream of creating a community space for as long as she can remember. “A space where people can go to simply exist or create or connect. The idea of what kind of space changed over time, but the idea was never far from my mind. I was married, working in the nonprofit arena, and found out that I was pregnant. I wasn’t given the option to bring my newborn to work, so I had to decide if I was going to stay home or work for daycare. I ended up choosing to stay home and during that time created the concept with two friends”, she told us. She now owns the coffeehouse with her mother, Mauvelette McNeill, who recently retired so Rodriguez handles operations.
When asked about the origin of the name, she said, “the name came from not being able to choose a name. We knew we were going to serve coffee and make our own baked goods. But we also knew we were going to sell local merchandise and stage an art gallery. We also knew we wanted to be a true community space. As we’re throwing out names and simultaneously rejecting them, I said ‘I wish we could think of a name that reflects the hodgepodge of our friends and families’, and we all decided on the spot that Hodgepodge would be the name”.
Her favorite memory of Hodgepodge is being a part of other people’s memories. “It swells my heart. We have had engagement parties, weddings, and baby showers in our space. We have watched first dates become second dates, which then becomes a weekly ritual for the new couple. We’re the place people go to celebrate and we’re the place people go when they don’t know what else to do. All these events reinforce that we have achieved our goal of being that community space. Any time someone tells us we make the best coffee they’ve ever had doesn’t hurt either”.
The future for Hodgepodge is bright. Rodriguez admits that COVID-19 pulled a fast one on Hodgepodge but it won’t last forever. She says they’re using this time to plan and strategize. The Ormewood Park location and Reynoldstown location are currently open and they recently broke ground on a third location in Decatur/Avondale Estates. She’s cautiously optimistic about the future. Rodriguez went on to say, “We’re looking at roasting our own beans and are still planning a fourth location in Summerhill in 2022. More than anything, we’ll continue to support our community, through outreach, programming, and our Hodgepodge Market that will also be a part of the next two locations”.
Hodgepodge Coffeehouse is currently open Monday through Saturday from 7AM to 5PM and on Sunday from 8AM to 5PM. Our go-tos are the honey latte or Jamaican patties. Thank us later.
Here’s your chance to win a Hodgepodge Coffeehouse local foods basket ($100 value)!
One lucky winner will win an assorted basket of local foods from the Hodgepodge Coffeehouse Market. The basket will have a value of $100+. Now that we’ve got your attention, here’s how it will go down in three easy steps:
Step 1: Go to https://us.orderspoon.com/HODGEPODGE720 and place an order (720 Moreland Avenue SE location only)
Step 2: Mention the EAV Insider in the Store Instructions when you check out
Step 3: Pick up a coffee at 720 Moreland Avenue SE location. Be the 20th person to follow steps one through three and you’ll win the basket! Best of luck!
Free99Fridge Battles Food Insecurity with Community Fridges
Latisha Springer, an Atlanta entrepreneur, is making waves in the community by making it easier for neighborhoods to access food through community fridges. She says the idea is not new but the concept is new to Atlanta. Community fridges like Free99Fridge have served as a great resource for those who have been affected by the pandemic and struggle to put food on the table.
Springer decided she would start the project in late July to help fight food insecurity across the Atlanta area with the concept of “take what you need, leave what you don’t”. The organization takes secondhand refrigerators, paints them, and fills them with food that is excess from restaurants, grocery stores, and individuals. Anyone can put food in and anyone can take food out.
Volunteers are responsible for maintaining and stocking each of the fridges with donations. Free99Fridge now has seven community fridge locations in the works around Atlanta, including two refrigerators at Best End Brewing in West End and one refrigerator each at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse in East Atlanta, Joystick Gamebar in Old Fourth Ward, ParkGrounds coffee shop in Reynoldstown, neighborhood pub Poor Hendrix in East Lake, Kirkwood United Church of Christ, and Lost-N-Found Thrift Store near Lavista Park.
Springer is currently working on creating a website that will allow people to donate, sign up to volunteer, and get involved. For now, people can donate to Free99Fridge via Venmo or CashApp. Local businesses interested in sponsoring space for a community fridge in a neighborhood should email Springer at [email protected].
To see all of the locations, donate, volunteer, or learn more about Free99Fridge, head to the Free99Fridge Instagram page for live updates.
Meet the Artist Behind the New Crosswalks
Meet Krista M. Jones, also known as Jonesy. She’s the creative mastermind and artist behind the freshly painted crosswalks in the Village. She was born to a military family in Dallas, Texas and spent her life traveling nationally and internationally. From Bangkok to Central America to Hawaii, she’s been around the world and drawn inspiration from her experiences.
In a recent interview Jonesy said, “Art has always been a source of processing life in some type of way. As for public arts, I’m really interested in how colors and patterns can change the urban landscape”.
You’ll notice the five crosswalks have a refreshing wave pattern along them. She went on to say, “I’m very drawn to waves and the interesting thing about a two-dimensional wave pattern is that it can represent a lot of different things. It can represent water, wind, land. The actual movement depends on the way the viewer sees it and what they’re feeling. Wave patterns for me symbolize change and movement which is an inevitable part of life”.
Jonesy wanted to develop a pattern that was interesting and dynamic, not something that looked like a stamp or could be easily replicated. She said, “They have an organic feeling so that as you move through each of the crosswalks you can tell they’re meant to be together but each one has its own unique energy”.
Jonesy is no stranger to East Atlanta Village, as she used to live off of Brownwood Avenue a few years ago. “It’s cool to bring art to a neighborhood that means a lot to me”, she said.
“I remember going to Echo lounge [formerly located in the Asylum building] and seeing Sleater-Kinney. I sat on the stage and talked to the band. East Atlanta has been a pivotal music hub. I’ve had some miraculous musical experiences at The Earl and 529 too”.
When asked what her favorite part of East Atlanta Village was, Jonesy said “the music and the people that live and work in the area. I’ve always had really friendly experiences, even when I’ve lived further away from the Village. I’ll still travel there to hang out and have coffee at Joe’s”.
Jonesy’s art doesn’t stop at crosswalks. She’s painted on almost any surface you can imagine. From indoor and outdoor to residential and commercial work, she’s done it all. To learn more about Jonesy’s work, check her out on Facebook/Instagram @JonesyARTATL or at www.jonesyartatl.com
EAV REAL ESTATE UPDATE
FEEDING HUNGRY FAMILIES + SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY
Giving back is in our roots! We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with the East Atlanta Kids Club to provide food for Atlanta families in need. For each house transaction we close in East Atlanta, we will be donating $500 to the East Atlanta Kids Club to help them extend their reach and feed even more families!
We had the opportunity to chat with Ryan Downey, Executive Director at East Atlanta Kids Club, and he shared with us that each and every week, they are working to build as many food boxes as possible for families in need. The team relies solely on volunteers to help them pack, so if you’re willing and available to get involved in our community, reach out to the team to see how you can help! 404.627.8050
Special thanks go to all of our clients in the area who have helped up contribute! This year we have helped supply an additional 1,900 lbs of food for hungry families… and you can help us reach even more people! Our goal is to donate 10,000 lbs of food by the end of the year! Know anyone looking to buy or sell in East Atlanta? Send them our way so we can give back even more.