What do fish farming, vedic meditation, urban development, Rhino conservation and local West Palm Beach news have in common? These are just a few of the topics that have been covered in the new podcast, “The Coffee Life.”
This online show has a very simple premise: talk about the things that are talked about in a coffee shop. For the last few months, Sean Scott, co-owner of Subculture Coffee, has been interviewing people who come through the doors.
You can find “The Coffee Life” wherever you listen to podcasts: Apple iTunes, Stitcher Radio and SoundCloud if you want to listen from your computer.
One of my favorite episodes was with WPTV anchor Chris Stewart, who talked about producing the local news. Topics ranged from Stewart’s experience curling in Vero Beach to the business of local news and how anchors cover difficult stories like the Pulse nightclub shooting. Regardless of guests on the show, the topic of conversation always turns to the future of West Palm Beach.
“It’s incredible,” said Stewart. “I’ve been here for four years. If you just think back to two years ago, what the skyline in the city looked like and then what it looks like now.”
He continued, “I just went to the new Restoration Hardware … The combination of hardware and food works. It’s an incredible building. … The new Hilton is here, Brightline is now running … it’s cool to see West Palm Beach growing the way it is.”
Scott and partner Rodney Mayo founded Subculture Coffee in 2014. In the last four years, Scott expanded the Clematis Street location to include a food venue called The Annex where patrons can get a breakfast smoothie, cold-pressed juices, salads, Cuban sandwiches and more.
On Clematis Street, Subculture wanted outdoor seating space, so they worked with the city to use the adjacent city-owned alley. Seating was added, and thanks to the Canvas art show, Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra painted the now-iconic mural of Einstein on the wall, immediately transforming the space into a vibrant community meeting area.
Each move, whether it’s starting a new music event like the wildly popular Tacos and Hip Hop (which takes place in the alley on the last Friday of every month) or starting a podcast, goes to further the goals stated on the company’s website: “We are two local guys, Rodney and Sean, who believe in two simple things: The Coffee Culture and this City. We strongly believe in fostering a community of diversity and expression, one that brings soul to our City.”
When news broke of the horrific Parkland shootings, Scott immediately hosted a town hall meeting attended by over 60 people. Local law enforcement attended, as did teachers, mental health professionals, people who struggled with mental health issues, concerned parents and community members. The meeting was followed up by a second workshop that tackled specific issues and created community-driven recommendations which were submitted to city and state representatives.
With the same goal of finding actionable solutions to common issues, Scott also leads a bi-monthly Downtown Merchants Association meeting that meets with city hall and works through the many issues facing downtown merchants.
“I’ve tried to do as much as I can to help facilitate communication between other merchants and stakeholders and the city staff to create a cohesive vision to help push this city forward in a healthier and more unified way,” Scott said in a frank discussion with West Palm Beach Director of Economic Development Chris Roog.
“There is always this idea that city planning is done by government and that government doesn’t have good ideas, so I thought that there has to be another way,” said Scott. “This is their city and this is our city, we’re both working toward the future and I think we can do this better. There can be some ways to do this in a proactive manner and create relationships that are exciting and strengthening.”
When you subscribe to “The Coffee Life” you can listen to the heartbeat of downtown West Palm Beach at your leisure.
Who knows, maybe if I play my cards right, you might just hear me as a guest on “The Coffee Life” soon!