Black-owned coffee shop in Shoreline targeted with new threats of racism

SHORELINE, Wash. — Black Coffee Northwest, a coffee shop in Shoreline, has been receiving racist, violent phone calls and voicemails for the past three weeks. This isn’t the first time the shop has dealt with vandalism or racist threats. Back in 2020, the shop was hit with Molotov cocktails in an attempt to burn it down.

Soriah Swinton and her co-worker are the baristas that took the original phone call.

“Instantly, it was just like, right off the bat, like swearing, and you guys are the worst, and that’s when I pulled out my phone and was like, I’m going to record this because this is a hate crime,” Swinton said. She told KIRO 7 that it keeps happening.

“This is like, literally, a hate crime. I don’t know how else to explain it besides that,” Swinton said. “It made me sad that the world is still like this.”

Erwin Weary is the CEO and co-owner. He said it was disheartening to experience that.

“Unfortunately, it’s not stuff that I haven’t heard before, but it really didn’t sit well with me because a lot of young people were hearing this.” Weary wants to get this out to the public to bring awareness to what’s happening.

“The biggest piece of the puzzle in putting this thing out there is to bring awareness and show people we still have a long way to go,” he said. However, despite the hatefulness, the coffee shop has a strong base of loyal customers.

“They’re not going to stop. They’re not going to go away. I wish the racists would get that through their heads,” said Reinhard. “It’s such a great business and they don’t deserve this.”

It’s the support from Reinhard and so many others that Weary said keeps them going.

“Black people definitely belong here, we’re important in the community, we’re always going to be in this community and together you know we can do amazing things,” Weary said. Weary said he has not filed a police report yet but plans to do so in the next couple of days.