by Tiara Hodges
The newly opened Blend Cafe, 807 E. Main St., offers customers good coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch in a convenient and growing location in Durham.
Courtney Smith, the manager and operator of Blend, says the cafe offers a diverse crowd and "a place for anyone from anywhere to come." The cafe shares the Golden Belt campus with technologists, graphic design specialists, artists and event planning specialists. Golden Belt also houses loft apartments and a tattoo company, among many other businesses.
Smith noted that the Golden Belt location is interesting because of the incorrect perception that the area is an unsightly part of town; she says she hopes that Blend will help fight these perceptions.
"I live in the community because I wanted to get a sense of community. I love to be where people can be themselves," says Smith, who operates the cafe with the help of her family.
Smith says she wants to buy locally yet make the products affordable for customers. Currently, Blend uses local farmers for some of their products. The menu includes Counter Culture coffee, new and traditional espresso drinks, smoothies, pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches. The cafe also offers vegan and vegetarian items, and Smith says that Blend seeks to continuously expand its menu.