With books written by 100 African American authors and fabrics, jewelry, coffee, baked goods and more from 12 vendors, there are 112 reasons to love Homecoming Coffee and Books in Ensley.
Located at B Elite Suites at 3112 Ensley Five Points West Avenue (directly across from East of Mississippi Restaurant Diner), Homecoming Books does not have a big storefront like a Books-a-Million or an independent bookstore like Thank You Books in Crestwood. In fact, the day I visited in early April, there were no signs on the outside of the building.
When you enter B Elite—a bustling establishment in its own right—you may think you’ve walked into the wrong place.
Once you are inside, veer right, and look toward the end of the building. There you will see Homecoming Coffee and Books owner Yvette Chatman and her wonderful quaint bookshop full of surprises.
When I asked Chatman to describe her store, she said, “It is an opportunity to grab somebody else and bring them along with you.”
That’s exactly what Homecoming Coffee and Books does, by providing local authors and small businesses an opportunity to introduce their talents to the community.
Here is what you’ll find at Homecoming Coffee and Books:
- Books – Lining the walls are books of all kinds, written by 100 African American authors. About 20 of the authors are local.
- Coffee – The coffee Homecoming sells comes from Stivers Coffee, an African American owned company based out of Chicago. Their current featured brands are Buffalo Soldier, Red Tails and Jamaican Rum.
- Vendors – Even though Coffee and Books is in its name, Homecoming sells items, such as African fabrics, jewelry and delicious pastries, cupcakes, bean pies (by Magic City Flavors), lemonade, and yes, even plants!
“My focus is really on the books and the products, the cultural products, but the coffee and tea is a way to get people in here. And once they sit they begin to get comfortable,” added Chatman.
Even though it is small (you would never believe 100 different author’s books were on display), Homecoming is more than good coffee and books. It is a place that supports local black writers, chefs and artisans. It is all about community and providing opportunity.
Homecoming Coffee and Books is open:
Wednesday-Saturday — 8:30a.m. to 2:00p.m.
Follow this special place on Facebook for upcoming events and updates on new vendors.
B Elite is very busy during the day, so parking can be pretty tight. Don’t get discouraged. We parked next door at Ensley Seafood.
Are you going to check out Homecoming Coffee and Books soon? Share your experiences with us and tag us at @bhamnow