In an effort to move away from supporting problematic businesses while circulating the Black dollar, Ken and Mary Olds, a husband and wife duo, are set to open Muggin Coffee House in the Whitehaven area July 6.
“Muggin is a vibe. A way of life in Memphis,” said Mary Olds.
Muggin’ is a term used to describe a mood of extreme confidence and bravado. It is something very akin to the Memphis culture. And then there is the literal mug that you drink from.
“Muggin’ is a play on words to pay homage to Memphis but also to describe what you’d actually put your coffee in,” Mary said.
As I was skimming through their menu, I could tell Muggin’ was strategic in titling their products after things relatable to Memphians.
The Coffee Roast “Hard Out Here for A Drip,” was inspired by the song “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the Memphis film “Hustle & Flow.” It is a dark roast recommended to help push you through your day.
“Looking for the Brewin,” was influenced by Memphis rap legend, Kingpin Skinny Pimp’s popular song, “Lookin For Da Chewin,” which is a medium roast and has a smooth brew.
“Kinda Brew,” is named after jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ album “Kind of Blue.” It is a light roast with fruity notes for a slow sipping kind of day.
Muggin is committed to becoming a central hub in the community, where you will feel a sense of belonging.
On the cafe’s website, their mission says, “Muggin’ is a dream of ours to bring community back to… well, the community. We want a place where people can go to chill, catch up and recharge.”
The Olds couple both are products of Whitehaven, a.k.a Blackhaven, for its predominantly African-American community.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to grow up somewhere and then be able to put a business in that community,” said Mary. “It’s like full circle for my husband and I.”
Muggin Coffee House is committed to ensuring that coffee production is not only high quality and sustainable, but a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability.
I feel that this coffee house is a place where people – are artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, essential workers, and/or a creatives – can come to have a safe space and feel comfortable.
Coffee shop conversations often foster creative communities, which is why I am excited about the opening of Muggin in the Whitehaven area, the community where I grew up.
This won’t be the typical lightly lit coffee house.
“We want people to feel a sense of joy, pride and happiness and that will be reflected in the bright colors and ambiance,” said Mary.
Mary and Ken Olds acknowledge local coffee roasters, J. Brooks for providing Muggin with the best quality coffee roasts.
The coffee shop will also provide gourmet pastries, smoothies, espresso and blended beverages.