“We just want to share.”
It didn’t take long of talking to Antajuan Scott before realizing that Small Chop is different. They’re not just serving up coffee; they’re serving up an experience.
Small Chop opened as a pop-up café at The Hilltop Bar & Restaurant in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood in January. The idea began nearly five years ago when Antajuan and Samandar Khelghati worked together at The Gibson. Discussing ideas and goals while getting to know one another, Samandar mentioned that he always wanted to open a café. Several years and cities later, space and time finally aligned, and Small Chop was off the ground.
So what is Small Chop?
The name comes from Nigeria. It refers to experiences of merging community and food, particularly street food. As Antajuan explained, “You go grab small chop with friends…it’s a way of life, experiences to be valued.” And that is what Small Chop aims to do. They want to be experience producers, providing experiences that revolve around culture, community, and of course, food.
Small Chop is proud to promote local brands and provide a platform for emerging businesses. As Antajuan emphasizes, it is a creative collaboration. The beans are sourced from Lost Sock Roasters, and they are the first café to serve their product. (I would recommend ordering a pour over next time you stop in – you won’t be disappointed!) Their “Bake Sale” pastries come from Paisley Fig, Republic Kolache, and Cowbell Kitchen.
The pop up café is just phase one of Small Chop. Soon they plan to offer dinner services, bringing people together over diverse food of high quality, calling it Break Bread. They also have plans to give back to the community in various ways, beginning with a pancake breakfast in mid-March. Other ideas being considered are establishing a scholarship and a professional development program – stay tuned for updates on all these admirable ventures.
Small Chop desires to be a hub for the community, a place for everyone, even for those who are transient and will soon be long gone. They wish to carve out a space for people to be nourished and “grow before [they] go.” It’s more than just being a “third place;” it’s a safe haven, a gathering place for creative minds and people interested in making a difference. All while providing top-notch food and drink.
Be sure to check out Small Chop’s pop-up! They are open M-F 7am-2pm and just started opening on weekends from 8am-2pm. If you’re free this coming Monday, they are holding a cupping at 11am. This is a great opportunity to learn more about coffee (trust us, there’s a lot to learn!) and get a feel for the Small Chop experience.
Have you been to Small Chop yet? Let us know what you think!