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Monday, Dec. 7, 2015

Good Time Brew

Owner promises non-traditional atmosphere at new coffee shop

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Owner promises non-traditional atmosphere at new coffee shop

Marcus Mitchell, owner of Bon Temps Coffee Bar, is a local man making a difference one cup at a time. This brand new coffee bar, featuring delicious brews, live jazz music and an inviting art scene, held its official grand opening Nov. 29.

Located in downtown Shreveport’s Red River District, Bon Temps is directly beneath the old Texas Street bridge. Tucked away among the casinos, nightclubs and Festival Plaza, Bon Temps is taking its place in the heart of the entertainment district of downtown and intends to hold its own by offering a creative and unique environment that will appeal to a variety of people.

Mitchell, who is 31 and an Army veteran with two Iraq War tours under his belt, is also a Woodlawn High School graduate, the proud father of a 4-year-old daughter and as he said, “is a Shreveport diehard!” Mitchell said his intense love for his city is what fuels his desire to serve the community – and he’s doing that by providing a unique atmosphere for adults of all ages to gather together and share coffee, music and a good time. “My inspiration came from growing up with my grandfather and developing a love for old school jazz and blues music,” Mitchell said. “I wanted to create a business around that passion and wanted it to be somewhere comfortable and inviting.”

Events at Bon Temps include poetry nights, karaoke, adult game nights, wine tastings, live music and more. And the coffee – well, it can speak for itself.

“I’m partial to our signature S’mores Frappe with whip cream topping,” Mitchell said. “It’s a piece of heaven in a cup!” And perhaps the only thing better than coffee is a coffee for a cause.

“Bon Temps is the only place in Shreveport that caters toward mature professionals, young and old alike, with live old school jazz and blues,” Mitchell said. “But more importantly, Bon Temps was founded on the principle of community service. As such, proceeds from every cup sold go toward the creation of a foundation that installs after-school arts and tutoring programs in Shreveport’s underprivileged neighborhoods.”

This business venture is different for Mitchell, but despite the stress of starting a business, he said he is truly enjoying every minute of it.

“My favorite part of owning the business is interacting with customers, and getting to see them enjoy the same vibes and sounds as my grandfather and me,” Mitchell said.

As Mitchell wrote in his blog at bontempscoffeebar.com, “Currently, when we think of a coffee spot, we think of a quiet, serene place with an earth tone color palette.

Well, I think that sucks. Coffee doesn’t have to be quiet. In fact, I will venture so far as to say that it should not be quiet. World policies and war stories alike are best told over coffee. So why reduce it to a vice of melancholy? I refuse. Bon Temps Coffee Bar aims to make coffee more social. Our aim is to provide a sexy atmosphere anchored with tasty coffees and sweet Louisiana jazz and blues tunes.”

Mitchell said he is very grateful he gets to do something he loves – and make a difference at the same time. “Our mission at Bon Temps is to improve the quality of life and educational opportunities for children often disenfranchised by socioeconomic pitfalls,” Mitchell said.

“As mature adults and family oriented persons, we crave for environments that offer themselves as a getaway from the normal grind of life and work. We want for conversation and the exchange of ideas and philosophies,” he said. “We want to hear real, live instrumentation and to set back and relax without concern for the usual cons of nightclubs and bars. We want sophistication. Bon Temps Coffee Bar is for us.”

Bon Temps has three employees, and is looking to hire more. Bon Temps is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturdays. “People should come out with us at Bon Temps because it’s a cool place with good music,” he said. “Also, by supporting us, you’re supporting Shreveport communities and helping to improve your city.”

–Betsy St. Amant

more information:

Go to www.bontempscoffeebar. com.

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