Kristina is a freelance journalist who covers health, sports and family life. She lives in Tucson with her husband and their three triplets.
While many businesses have either had to scale back or unfortunately even close up shop, dreams and goals are still alive and happening. It's indeed a gentle time where choices need to be carefully made. Despite a roller coaster type of year, people are finding way to grow and cultivate dreams, all while trying to make the world a better place. No exception to this rule is a fun-loving, pop culture immersed family from San Diego. Meet the Arreaga family from South San Diego who are up to positive, fun things that will benefit both residents and visitors alike in "America's Finest City."
A native San Diego couple, Erik and Geraldine Arreaga, are planning to open up a comic book-themed coffee shop in the heart of downtown San Diego. The couple came up with the idea in the beginning of 2021 and are in full swing to develop the concept and have a Kickstarter to begin the process of opening up Pow! Coffee Shop.
Geraldine is a first-grade dual immersion teacher in Chula Vista. She has more than 17 years of teaching experience and won The Star-News “Best Teacher of 2020." Married to Erik Arreaga, an independent comic artist and barista, their love of coffee and pop culture influenced the idea of Pow! Coffee Shop.
The Mexican-American family, local to San Diego, wants every customer who walks in to not only enjoy their coffee and fun-themed brick & mortar when it's up and running, but they also want everyone who walks in to enjoy their surroundings, all while feeling safe and that they are welcome in that spot. With their framework capturing a love of good, quality coffee, an entertaining space for comic books fans and gawkers alike, Pow! Coffee Shop is surely set to be a place where every customer can find a 'home away from home.'
While brainstorming several concepts of Pow! Coffee Shop one thing was certain: “This coffee shop will be diverse and inclusive that will welcome anyone and everyone of all backgrounds and identity,” according to the family as a whole.
“Pow! Coffee Shop will be inclusive by encouraging diversity every customer and staff member will be treated fairly and with respect,” said Geraldine. With significant world events revolving around social issues in 2020, the couple wanted to make sure this was a space that everyone felt safe and comfortable in.
“Our motto is ‘Be someone's hero,’ where we want to spread kindness and in turn encourage our customers to spread kindness,” said Erik.
The comic-loving couple plans to create original superhero characters that embody the inclusiveness of the shop. The original characters will include a black hero who is the leader of the team, to a non-binary hero to represent the LGBTQ community. Erik and Geraldine want people to walk in and see themselves represented in a fun comic book-like atmosphere. “We want our coffeeshop to feel safe, welcoming and provide a fun coffee experience,” added Geraldine.
Both Erik and Geraldine expressed the importance of having an inclusive space. “Unfortunately, so many people are underrepresented in pop culture and don’t feel safe in all spaces. We want people to have fun and be able to geek out over a cup of coffee no matter who they are, where they come from, and who they identify as,” said Erik. They believe having a safe space allows people to have the most fun without worrying about judgement. Aside logistics, coffee, setup and other things to plan, the heart and soul remains to be a place where anyone feels welcome at Pow! Coffee Shop.
Erik and Geraldine are currently running their Kickstarter to help with opening costs of the coffee shop. They are actively engaging with their audience on their social media. Stay in step with each plan and news they share by visiting their Instagram and Kickstarter pages.