A Family Legacy: Woman Partners With Her Dad To Open A Thriving Coffee Shop In Chicago

by Gee NY

Chicago’s Austin neighborhood last year witnessed the culmination of a family legacy with the grand opening of Urban Essentials Coffee Cafe, a vibrant addition to the local community.

Founded by two Black families, the cafe welcomed a bustling crowd of 200 customers on its official first day, along with a roster of community leaders and elected officials who came to show their support.

At the heart of this venture is the dynamic father-and-daughter duo, Robbie Wilkerson and Destiny Wilkerson, who teamed up with business partners Rick and Evelyn Shumate to bring their vision to life.

Robbie, also the youth director for the Westside Health Authority, expressed gratitude for the enthusiastic turnout, hoping that the cafe’s success would inspire further investment in Austin.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford echoed this sentiment, viewing the cafe’s opening as a beacon of hope for the community’s prosperity.


He spoke passionately about the crucial role of small businesses in fostering thriving neighborhoods and pledged to spread awareness about Urban Essentials Coffee Cafe.

Beyond serving as a cozy spot for coffee enthusiasts, the cafe aims to make a meaningful impact on the community.

Plans are in place to provide coffee and donuts to local organizations and nonprofits, while also hosting events like open mic nights and Monday night football games to energize the neighborhood.

Urban Essentials Coffee Cafe offers an array of beverages, including blended drinks, tea, and coffee sourced from Black-owned Stivers Coffee.

The menu boasts a diverse selection of dishes, such as a jerk salmon wrap and loaded baked potatoes with chicken, shrimp, or salmon.

The founding families, including Robbie and Destiny Wilkerson, poured their personal funds into launching the cafe, driven by a shared commitment to revitalizing their community.

Co-owners Richard and Evelyn Shumate, described as the masterminds behind the food concepts, share a passion for bringing healthy and accessible meals to their patrons.

“Urban Essentials Coffee Cafe was created by two ambitious families looking to revolutionize their community with one idea: a coffee shop,” reads a statement on the cafe’s Instagram.

The cafe represents a business venture founded by the power of family, community, and entrepreneurship.

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