Convivio is the Spanish phrase for a get together where people share and connect with others, usually over food and drinks. It’s also the name of Denver’s first women owned, Guatamalen inspired, bilingual coffee shop. The arches at the cafe symbolize a bridge that brings people from different backgrounds together. It is the dream come true for owners Kristin Lacy and Vivi Lemus.
“I think that’s what we want to see here too like people who are new, maybe they’ve never been to Central America but maybe they know somebody who’s from there they want to try and and also we want to be like you know a meeting space for people that are from Central America or Latin America that want to speak Spanish, who want to order in their language of corazon so I think it’s kind of like being that bridging community space,” says Kristen.
Since 2020, Convivio was online and a pop up at farmers markets. Crowdfunding helped them realize their dream of a brick and mortar establishment. It opened on November 1st which is the Guatamalan holiday of Dia de Todos los Santos or All Saints Day.
“I feel like just having like communities and supporting us and some people that showed up this morning that have literally helped us, painted walls for us so I think we are very lucky in having support,” says Vivi. “That you have people that are just believing in what you want to build.”
The shop will create cultural connections through roasted coffee that comes from farmers in Central America, a tea selection sourced from a women owned co-op and a menu that combines cultures.
“When we were talking to one of our producers in Guatemala this summer, Kristen asked him ‘What’s your dream?’ and he said, ‘My dream is that my coffee can cross over borders and just reach people I’ve never met. So I feel like for me to just be thinking that the actual product that we have is from people and that we are literally making that reach across the countries and that is so exciting,” says Vivi.
Like the roots of the coffee plant in Convivo’s logo, new ones and old ones can come together to allow communities like Denver to be in Convivio.
Vivi says “I think that when I think of the impact that we want to have is just to be that open inviting space only because we are women-owned also Guatemalan-inspired and have gatherings where people can feel like they belong and just join our Convivio.”
Convivio Cafe is located at 4935 West 38th Avenue in Denver. It’s open six days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s closed on Tuesdays.