Taste the Future at the Get Down Coffee Co.

From founder Houston White, it’s ”like if James Beard created a rap restaurant”

Photo by Kevin Kramer

What’s Up

In 2019, serial entrepreneur Houston White and Dogwood Coffee owner Dan Anderson collaborated on a couple exclusive “Mixtape” blends that were sold at White’s HWMR barbershop and apparel store in North Minneapolis. Talk of bringing a Dogwood cafe to the neighborhood eventually turned into an entirely different entity: the Get Down Coffee Co. Announced last fall, the partnership was launched as a lean product line and a brick-and-mortar beacon of the Camdentown community White began to foster back in 2008. “My whole ethos is that human connection is the most powerful force in nature,” says White. “Our differences make us dope.”

Learn more from Houston White about the collaboration in an extended Q&A.

Side Dish

White describes the Get Down’s menu as “elevated but approachable … like if James Beard created a rap restaurant.” While its focus is grab-and-go fare, the goal is to remain as fresh as possible—a “made this morning and gone this afternoon” matter featuring dynamic in-house dishes (a salad with chives, apples, and dry-aged cheese; slices of “futuristic” sweet potato pie) and locally made items like Blissful Cakery’s French macarons and Sweet Troo Vi’s Belgian waffles. As for drinks, White says he’s “gonna take some time to curate” and get honest feedback so the space feels like an open conversation, not a stock rendition of what a third-wave coffee spot is supposed to be.

Where It’s At

The Get Down is part of White’s long game on the corner of 44th and Humboldt, which includes his barber shop and fashion company. The latter’s fall 2021 collection was actually one of the main inspirations behind the brand’s future-shocked aesthetic. “If you came up through the ’80s,” explains White, “you were informed and inspired by hip-hop in some way—how art and culture is a uniter no matter who you are.” In that way, the Get Down is more than just another coffee shop. It’s a vibe expressed in everything from the bright neon lights and original artwork by Peyton Scott Russell, an early mentor of White’s, to the DJ sets and Tiny Desk-esque jazz trios. “I just want to create an atmosphere that’s very becoming, you know?” says White. “A place people want to be.”

1500 N. 44th Ave., Minneapolis, getdowncoffee.com

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