Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Latchaw, co-owner of Race Street Coffee.
Race Street Coffee started with a garden, the “Stolen Garden” to be exact.
My wife and I moved to Riverside in 2012. We were looking for ways to get involved in the community and we found a volunteer group creating a community garden on Race Street. This group would eventually become the Riverside Art District, a non-profit we’d help create. Through RAD we worked to host street festivals, markets, and pop up art shows. Our aim was to show people how great we thought Race Street was and could be.
It was through this organization that I learned the “Joe Coffey Bail Bonds” building had been bought by a “coffee guy from Oak Cliff”.
That coffee guy was Shannon Neffendorf, a home roaster who’d built a coffee roasting business out of his shed, delivering door to door in Oak Cliff, another great neighborhood. In 2008, he left his accounting job at Blockbuster and his roasting business, Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters was born.
My career in Event Photography afforded me the privilege of traveling to many great cities in America. It became tradition on these trips to find a great local coffee shop and try it out. This was where I fell in love with specialty coffee culture.
When I learned Shannon had purchased the building I reached out, this was around 2015. I simply wrote him saying, “whatever you’re doing, I want to be involved”. We met and this evolved into the partnership we have today. We slowly put together a plan, talked culture and spent time thinking through a vision of what the shop could be. Shannon had already opened his cafe, Davis Street Espresso, in Oak Cliff as well as Yellow House in Lubbock. He understood the in’s and outs of specialty coffee, creating a cafe with a great community and providing exceptional hospitality. In May of 2018 we finally began construction.
In November of 2019 I left my long-time job in the event photography industry to get the shop up and running and we’ve been “off to the Races” since.
Has it been a smooth road?
During renovations on the building we discovered the city’s sewer line was too shallow to allow proper drainage out of the building. We went back and forth with the city on how to proceed, this process in total delayed construction about six months. During this process, the entirety of the project became uncertain, thankfully though, with the help of the city and a local property owner, a new sewer line was laid and the construction completed!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
As the newest member of the Oak Cliff Coffee family, Race Street strives to bring great coffee and fellowship to the historic Riverside community. Built-in 1950, this cozy cafe was renovated with a vibrant color palette, soon-to-be backyard oasis and is the perfect spot to slow down and catch up with friends, neighbors or family. We aim to be your “friendly neighborhood cafe”. We’re excited to be of service to the community, providing freshly roasted coffee, espresso, tea, drip, and soon, house made pastries. We encourage our customers to bring their own cup or make time to enjoy their drinks in our cafe. If that’s not an option, we do offer compostable cups for an additional charge. We take $0.50 of each compostable cup order and add it to a sustainability fund. This fund is used for environmental and community projects to help offset our environmental impact as a business.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Fort Worth often feels like the biggest little city, I’ve had the pleasure of living here my entire life and enjoy constantly running into friends and neighbors. The Riverside community in Fort Worth is very tight-knit and incredibly supportive. I think it’s truly a gem in Fort Worth, both business owners and neighbors are sure to come out and contribute to the community.
- Address: 3021 Race Street Fort Worth, TX 76111