It’s always cool to see positive media articles about clients. So, I’m especially pleased to post this article from yesterday’s Chicago Tribune about Necessary and Sufficient cafe in Chicago. Kate became a client of mine after attending a few of my City Hall presentations & asking me some difficult questions.

Necessary and Sufficient is a woman-owned coffee shop in Logan Square. (Grace Wong / Chicago Tribune)

When Kate Vrijmoet first moved to Chicago, she started looking for studio space to house her large-scale art. She never thought her search would also end in her opening a coffee shop. But her little walk-up window and specialty cafe Necessary & Sufficient opened last week, housing both coffee and bites as well as her art studio.

Her art is focused on connecting people, so before committing to any one business idea, Vrijmoet went door-to-door in her west Logan Square neighborhood to ask residents what they wanted. A gift shop? A juice bar? But their response was overwhelmingly for a cafe, and thus began her two-year journey to learn about coffee and how to operate a small business on her own.

“My highest value is for learning and there are a lot of opportunities for learning in coffee,” Vrijmoet said. “The coffee community is one of inclusion and deep respect for other people and I love that. I love that milieu of ‘Let’s just be kind to each other, let’s help raise each other up, and where our interests align, let’s support each other.’”

Look out for specialty coffees like this beetroot latte.
Look out for specialty coffees like this beetroot latte. (Grace Wong / Chicago Tribune)

She lived in Seattle for nine years before moving to Chicago, so she’s using organic beans from Olympia Coffee Roasting, a slow-coffee company that has direct trade partnerships with coffee farmers and is a Certified B Corporation, which means the company is evaluated on standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

In addition to typical coffee offerings, Necessary & Sufficient will also have specialty drinks, some of them seasonal, like the Close Female Friendships latte, a beetroot latte with rose and vanilla syrup, or the Golden Latte, made with turmeric. All menus are printed in English and Spanish and you also have the option of adding CBD to your drink. If you’re surprised that your cup is smaller than what you’d get at Starbucks, it’s because Vrijmoet is using proportionally correct cups, meaning your espresso drink won’t be diluted by additional milk or water.

Necessary & Sufficient sources food from other female-owned businesses in Chicago.
Necessary & Sufficient sources food from other female-owned businesses in Chicago. (Grace Wong / Chicago Tribune)

She’s partnering with a few other Chicago businesses for her food offerings. Look out for pastries from The Spoke & Bird, like adult Pop-Tarts, cinnamon buns, ham and cheese morning buns, and overnight oats. And don’t miss the empanadas with savory or sweet fillings from Fig Catering.

Once she hits a better rhythm, Vrijmoet hopes to use her space to host coffee cuppings, tastings and other community events. In the meantime, she’s showing her commitment to the community by selling discounted cups of coffee to laborers who come to the window a half hour before the cafe opens, and partnering with various community organizations like the Friends of Monroe, which supports James Monroe Elementary School, and the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, by providing summer internships to juniors and seniors who are interested in the coffee business.

“This is a really strong integrated community and those connections exist,” Vrijmoet said. “It’s wonderful to watch people from the neighborhood come into the cafe who haven’t talked to each other in a while, hang out and drink their coffee and catch up. It’s powerful.”

Necessary & Sufficient Coffee, 3624 W. Wrightwood Ave.,

Necessary & Sufficient is a small cafe with a walk-up window.
Necessary & Sufficient is a small cafe with a walk-up window. (Grace Wong / Chicago Tribune)