Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Good Brotha’s Book Café coming to Midtown, promoting Black literature

Owner Stefan Hawkins stands in front of what will be Good Brotha’s Book Café in Midtown come November.

“When you see a Black man doing good things in the community, you call him a good brotha,” Stefan Hawkins explained. “It’s a term of endearment.”

This is how Hawkins chose the name for his new coffee shop coming in November to Midtown Harrisburg—Good Brotha’s Book Café.

The café will be the 30-year-old entrepreneur’s second business venture along with his fiancé Laquana Barber, their first being House of Vegans restaurant in Midtown.

“We were the first Black-owned vegan restaurant in Harrisburg, and now we will be the first Black-owned coffee shop in Harrisburg,” Hawkins said. “After I saw the success of House of Vegans and how the community got behind us, I was like, I can get into this entrepreneur thing.”

Good Brotha’s will open in the former location of Dalicia Bakery, which closed on Wednesday. The coffee shop will be just across the street from House of Vegans.

Hawkins hopes the shop will be a place of education and discussion. He plans to fill bookshelves with African American literature for guests to read over a cup of coffee or to purchase.

“I’m exposing the Harrisburg community to Black authors that they might not have heard about,” he said.

Hawkins said that he will also showcase local African American artists at Good Brotha’s. Old school neo-soul as background music will top off the shop’s vibe.

The shop won’t require too much work, Hawkins said—just some paint, flooring work and  bookshelves.

The shop’s signature coffee will be from Hawkins’ own coffee brand called Fifth Acres Coffee Company. The name is a tribute to the areas of the city he grew up in—N. 5th Street and Hall Manor in South Harrisburg, sometimes referred to as South Acres.

He sources the coffee from African countries and works with a roaster to produce it. One day, Hawkins hopes to learn how to roast it himself.

In addition to coffee, Hawkins said that his shop will carry food from Dalicia Bakery, which is moving to Mechanicsburg. They will have baked goods, breakfast and lunch items.

He plans to include a smoothie bar as well, stocked with House of Vegans’ fresh juices.

In August, Hawkins and two friends started a book club of 27 men in Harrisburg. He has already learned a lot from the club, and it has given him an avenue to do something he loves—reading.

Hawkins said that his book club will meet at Good Brotha’s, and he hopes other clubs will form.

“I want to push literacy in the Harrisburg community,” he said. “Why not push education in business?”

A Harrisburg native, Hawkins hopes to inspire others from the Black community, especially kids, to become business owners.

“Harrisburg is predominantly Black on paper, but we don’t own anything,” he said. “You can own your own business. I don’t have a college degree, and I own businesses.”

Good Brotha’s Book Café will be located at 1419 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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