Hip-hop artist funds free therapy through selling coffee

September 19, 2021 - 07:25 PM

NATIONWIDE (BAMM Network) After dealing with trauma for much of his life, hip-hop artist Christopher LeMark, opens up his own coffee shop, a safe space where people can "talk about hard stuff."  Not only that, the coffee shop's profits are used to fund free therapy sessions for people in need. 

Chicago Hip-Hop Artist Using Coffee Shop To Promote Access and Awarene –  BOTWC

LeMark founded Coffee, Hip-Hop, and Mental Health as a non-profit organization that sells hip-hop-inspired drinks to pay for free therapy in Chicago. He dedicated his career in building the business to being more than just a "hip and trendy" coffee shop. It was inspired by his love for hip-hop, his first form of therapy, the stigmatized mental health conversation, and of course, coffee. 

The coffee shop sells T-shirts, sweaters, and other merchandise to keep the organization alive. And of course, they offer specialty coffee drinks — named after hip-hop artists like Kanye West, Diddy, and Megan Thee Stallion — and pastries supplied by local businesses like Do-Rite Donuts and Chicago Sugar Daddy Patisserie.

He wanted to normalize talking about mental health and getting therapy within his community. Growing up, many in his community were taught to survive and not talk about mental health issues that they were struggling with. But after experiencing it firsthand, he now knows that there are plenty of people struggling with mental health, and he wants to be able to help them in ways he knows best.

This Chicago Cafe Is Using Coffee Profits To Send People To Therapy

Coffee, Hip-Hop and Mental Health started out with only a menu, a table, and an empty storefront. Originally, LeMark planned to sell enough coffee and merchandise to send 250 people to therapy. But after three years since he launched, he's managed to grow the organization to something more - launching numerous community-building programs.  One of them is the People’s Food Drive. Through this program, LeMak has fed more than 7,000 families since the Covid-19 pandemic. 


Photo Credit: Christopher LeMark Instagram Page


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