East Kensington cafe and community space needs funds to purchase building or could lose business

There is a new initiative in Philadelphia this holiday season to support Black-owned businesses every Friday. It's called "Shop Black Business Friday," and one business in East Kensington could really use the community's help.

Franny Lou's Porch is a cafe and community space that sells locally-sourced, organic food and drinks made with fair trade products. They focus on hiring within marginalized communities, providing a safe space, hosting virtual and in-person weekend events, welcoming local businesses and artists as vendors, and just started a shared profit business model.

"We really want to be here for our neighbors to just come and relax and just be heard," says Blew Kind, co-owner and founder.

Kind says they have paid rent to house business on Coral Street for almost six years now, but their landlord decided to sell the property.

They are fearful that a new buyer would kick them out or make rent unaffordable.

"People have been coming by to look at it and possibly make an offer, so we were like what can we do right now," says Ashley Huston, co-owner and chef.

The owners are working with a lender, but say they need $50,000 by December 12th to help secure the down payment. They started a GoFundMe page and within six days it climbed to more than $36,000.

"I don't think Philly wants us to go anywhere or the community so we've received so much love back," says Huston.

Neighbors like Michael Valentini say especially during a pandemic, the cafe went from a convenient place for great food and drinks, to a community staple.

"It is a prominent area for black individuals like myself to feel welcome and wanted and cared for," he says. "I would hate for it to go anywhere."


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