When you first walk into Moji Coffee, you’re greeted by brightly colored decor and upbeat music. It’s indicative of the coffee shop’s mission and its definition of moji - “the jolt of joy you get when you make others happy.”
“We have such a positive, upbeat atmosphere every day we come into work,” said David Cole, a barista at Moji Coffee, who has been with the coffee shop since its opening in May 2019.
Moji Coffee is a non-profit, local coffee shop located in the heart of downtown, at 690 Trade Street in Winston-Salem, whose aim is to employ individuals of different abilities to work together and build a stronger community presence and involvement in Winston-Salem.
Jade Deaver, store manager at Moji Coffee and More, said she wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
“To me, coffee and pastries are wonderful, but the most rewarding aspect is seeing the creative abilities of my baristas or as we call them here, Mojista’s,” she said. “Even if you don’t work at the coffee shop, you still receive a commission check and some income as an artist, just like any artist should. It’s a way to support our community. I love our community. Besides being as gracious as they are, they turned us into a family, and I’m thankful for that.”
An example of this when Moji partnered with Canvas Cake Studio and Cafe to supply quiches, loaves of bread, coffee, and pastries to be delivered or picked up by families in celebration of Mother’s Day.
“The sweetest moments were when we surprised the mothers. Sometimes their children weren’t able to see them, so they sent them a gift. It was truly heartwarming,” Deaver said.
For Cole, working at Moji Coffee is about enjoying others and sharing that joy with the customers, which aligns him perfectly with the company’s goals.
“My favorite thing about working here is the people that surround me, both my workmates and customers,” he said. “I want to bring joy to everyone that walks in and know that they leave with a smile on their face.”
That love extends to the products Cole serves, as well. He readily admits that the cafe’s most popular drinks are the Moji cold brews, but he prefers the strawberry smoothies or vanilla bean frappes since they don’t contain caffeine. They’ve teamed up with local businesses to expand their wares, such as getting bagels from Bagel Station and cookies and pastries from Canvas Cake Studio and Cafe.
“The shadow cake is delicious, even our most recent carrot cake has been a hit among customers, but our chocolate scones will always be a classic.”
Moji is constantly updating its brand to reach new levels of joy.
They’ve updated their pastry and drink selection, recently adding two Matcha drinks to the menu, the traditional Matcha and a dragon fruit flavored Matcha. They now have a second location at the Central Library on West Fifth Street and have their interior set up as an art gallery, displaying employees’ artwork and local artists with different abilities in the area.
Another perk of the job, according to Cole.
“Different organizations open their doors for art classes that we take every month or so. The majority of us draw and paint, then we display our work in the shop for others to purchase them.”
A glimpse at a future made possible for Cole by Moji. While he currently runs the blog for Moji Coffee, he answers excitedly with big, passionate eyes when asked what he’d like to do in the future.
“I’d love to work at a gallery or a music organization.”