Lynn, MA

“Creativity is the power to seemingly connect the unconnected” – William Plomer. When it comes to creativity, coffee and community, no establishment better reflects that connection than White Rose Coffeehouse in Lynn, MA.

Café owner Kato Mele sees the power of creativity and its ability to manifest critical connections against the backdrop of her coffeehouse. Through the combination of art, “open doors” and supreme coffee, customers are made to feel welcome no matter who they are or where they come from. Most importantly, no one at White Rose ever feels alone.

Kato sees her shop as a spot “where people come together, talk to each other and listen to each other.” Investing in open mic nights, poetry slams, and fundraisers for groups like the Lynn Rape Crisis Center, Kato recognizes the importance of producing a comfortable environment where groups can gather, open communication can occur and everyone has the opportunity to reflect. “When I open my door it’s just a variety of people. I didn’t have to work to attain that. I just opened my door… Every day I get to learn a little bit more about what someone else thinks and feels. It makes me happy.”

The Pour was able to capture a moment where art, community and coffee intersected on one of Kato’s open mic nights. Turning up to a full house of poets, rappers, musicians and those who had just happened upon the scene, we watched as White Rose transformed into much more than a coffee shop. You could feel the empowering energy as person after person stepped up to the mic to sing, say what was on their mind and be greeted by a room full of attentive listeners. Kato kept the door open until everyone who had something to say or share had their opportunity to speak. While what was said at the mic mattered, it was the face-to-face conversations at the tables that mattered even more.

Kato Mele’s idea is simple. To establish a safe place that encourages creativity and community. Kato benefits, artists benefit and more importantly, Lynn’s culture is revealed and shared. White Rose is about “much more than just the coffee.” Take a glimpse into our portrait of White Rose and feel what we felt. Enjoy!