Get up with The Get Down Coffee Company

A highlight of the North Minneapolis specialty coffee shop, Get Down Coffee Co., with an inside look into its rich history and its affordable, yet unique menu.
The bustling inside of The Get Down Coffee Co. on a Thursday morning
The bustling inside of The Get Down Coffee Co. on a Thursday morning
Aiden Lewald

Just twenty minutes away from Hamline’s campus lives Camdentown a neighborhood in the upper half of North Minneapolis. In this community, on the corner of N 44th and Humboldt, resides the fifteen-year-old cornerstone, Houston White Men’s Room, a Black-owned barber shop that has expanded into Camdentown Flats and Get Down Coffee Co.
Get Down Coffee Co., founded in 2020 by Houston White and Dan Anderson of Dogwood Coffee, is a breath of fresh air from the homogenous industry of specialty coffee. It was founded with the intention of diversifying the industry and opening the door for all those interested in coffee who had never been given the opportunity to grow.
“My business has been on this corner of N 44th and Humboldt for the past 15 years. It’s been a literal cornerstone for the community, and over the years has been a gathering place for neighbors, artists, entrepreneurs, business people and more,” White wrote in an email. “The barbershop is the Black man’s country club, and the conversations that have happened in the walls of this building are sacred.”
Coffee is much more than just a beverage; it is a cultural staple and an art that ignites delight in its dedicated consumers. For White, it was not until a few years ago after a business meeting in DC, where he discovered the Japanese siphon brewing method, that coffee became a significant part of his life. After several calls to an array of local coffee shops, Anderson was the only person to return White’s call.
“He said ‘I’m busy, but you can come in and shadow me.’ Our friendship grew from there, and we eventually built a small coffee bar in my barbershop in Camdentown that became a gathering spot for barbershop clients and neighbors,” White said.
Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Anderson and his wife, Angie Anderson, came to White with the idea of building a new company with open-door intentions.
The ethos and influence of Get Down Coffee Co. are apparent even from outside the building. It is a sleek, chic storefront, situated near the the vibrant tangerine signage of North Market and quiet streets lined with colorful flags promoting Camdentown. The front door is accessible via both a ramp and a few short stairs, and once inside, visitors are greeted by a wash of upbeat tunes and a display wall advertising Get Down Coffee Co. merchandise alongside a shelf of “Fresh,” a line of hair, body and skin-care products recently released by White.
Music is an obvious theme of the store’s design, with vinyl records and speakers lining multiple walls. The menu advertises familiar staples, each paired with a creative name, as well as a few rotating specialty drinks. With a “Vanilla Nice Nice Baby Latte” and their “Disk Jockey Drip Coffee” you can truly see the dedication and consistency with the music motif.
The sizes of the coffees are standard, 12 oz and 16 oz for hot drinks, and 16 oz for iced drinks. The prices, however, are on the cheaper side, especially for a specialty coffee shop. The lowest is $4.00 for an Americano, and the highest is $7.25 for a 16 oz “On & On Matcha Latte”. Their specialty drinks are roughly $5.00-6.25. For the complexity and delectability of the drinks, this price is perfect.
One of their most popular drinks, according to The Get Down Coffee Co. website, is the Brown Sugar Banana Cream Latte, which is available in both iced and hot. With banana being a relatively uncommon coffee ingredient, one may be intrigued to try it. The flavors were present but not overpowering by any means, and the top was decorated with a swirl of whipped cream and crumbled Nilla Wafers.
While their iced latte was fairly standard, the star of the show was the huge pieces of strawberry pull-apart bread that the baristas gave out for free because they were a day old. Despite their age, they tasted perfectly fresh and came in an indulgent, filling portion laden with strawberry jam and cream cheese frosting.
Alongside their in-house drinks, they sell their coffee beans, teas and merchandise both in-store and online. The Get Down Coffee Co. even offers several subscription boxes and sampler packs, allowing consumers to get a taste of everything they have to offer. The prices for each 12 oz bag of coffee beans are fairly standard but on the higher end of the scale. Their brand can also be found at Target stores, along with White’s line of products.
However, out of all the things that make this store unique, it is the welcoming atmosphere that radiates. Customers and employees alike create a positive atmosphere and experience, unlike a typical hipster coffee shop.
“As we’ve expanded from a barbershop to add the coffee shop, and then Camdentown Flats last summer, we’re showing that urban development can be built with culture at its center,” White said. “We’re building slowly to develop Camdentown as a blueprint for urban development that could be replicated in cities across America. It’s Black-owned, Black-led, but everyone is welcome”

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