Aya Coffee & Books in Kansas City’s East Side

As a teacher and a life-long lover of reading, Aya Coffee & Books founder, Jahna Riley, knows the power of books. Through her online bookstore and pop-up events, Riley highlights and celebrates stories and authors from marginalized communities. Next on her agenda? A brick-and-mortar book and coffee shop on Kansas City’s east side, the community where Riley grew up. Although she is still working out the details of Aya’s coffee program, Riley hopes to tap into KC’s rich coffee culture while also focusing on people of color. “The more that I’ve learned about the coffee industry and knowing that the majority of coffee is grown in countries where the people look like me, I definitely want to do my part to highlight as many black and brown folks as I can, from farmers to roasters to different coffee brands,” Riley says.

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