Black To Business

Black-Owned Coffee Shop Brews A Sense of Community & Culture

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Bougie Brews (pronounced BOO-GEE Brews) is a sophisticated coffee & tea shop centrally located in the heart of Downtown Yonkers. They opened their doors on Main Street in May 2020. They endeavor to be a place for old-comers and new comers alike to come together and build community with top quality products, great service, ultra-fast Wi Fi, in a chic, boutique-style atmosphere. Bougie Brews is committed to not only serving amazing coffee and delicious baked goods, but also providing a space for locals to gather for a causal brunch, early morning yoga class, mid-week game night, afternoon meetup, book reading and signings or spoken word event.

“When Charmaine Sanchez moved to Main Street in Yonkers from Brooklyn a little more than a year ago, the first thing she noticed was that there was no coffee shop nearby,” Lohud wrote July 6, 2020.
A self-decribed caffeine addict, she joked about it with her boyfriend Donte Charlton, a Yonkers native. His reply: “Why don’t you open one.”

Despite opening in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Sanchez’ determination no quit attitute with the support of her boyfriend resolved to make Bougie Brews community-centric.
The word “Community” is featured prominently on a wall surrounded by photos of local Yonkers scenes (taken by Charlton) and Black icons such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Martin Luther King, Jr. There are also inspirational phrases scattered throughout such as “Breathe, relax, unwind” and “But first, coffee.”

“When we opened up two years ago, the pandemic had just started and it created challenges & obstacles beyond that of most first time business owners,” Charmaine Sanchez shared with Black Westchester. “Our goal then was to be a place within our community where people could connect. That “remains our goal and we hope to continue to achieve it with every open mic, every game or movie night, and every conversation over coffee or tea.

We hope the people of Yonkers continue to embrace us as we continue grow and become a fixture in the Yonkers community.”

Their goal is two-fold: to consciously create a community-centered coffee shop that also serves a more personalized, boutique coffee experience for those new to the area looking to get their caffeine fix from a similarly bougie (or classy) establishment.

The draw is the coffee. The beans, from Brooklyn-based Abbotsford Road Coffee Specialists, feature blends from Ethiopia, Argentina, and Brazil that Sanchez swears will have you

will have you wanting a second cup. In addition, you’ll find more than a dozen teas — Charlton is a big tea drinker — including pomegranate raspberry, Earl Grey blue flower, turmeric tea and ginger and lemongrass. He’s particularly proud of the Bougie Butter Chai, an iced chai latte swirled with butterscotch.
Then there is the food and the way the Black-owned coffee shop brews a sense of community and culture that makes Bougie Brews the perfect daytime, lounging coffee shop if you’re looking to settle in somewhere for a few hours to hang out with friends or throw in headphones and do some reading with a great layout so there are plenty of spots to tuck yourself away!

“I’m not a bar person so I was always interested in creating a place where you could get to know your neighbors,” said Sanchez. “At Bougie Brews, we’re really excited about people. Especially now, I think people are excited to get out, have a good cup of coffee and see other humans.”

That was her inspiration on opening this establishment that is about much more than just coffee. It’s a place for art, music and culture.

Bougie Brews is located at 52 Main Street, Yonkers. For more information visit their website and follow Bougie Brew on Instagram and Facebook

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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