Coffee Conversations: 'Closer Look' guests discuss the state of business, housing and transit in Duluth

David Collins, one of the owners of Break Coffee Roasters, stands in front of the coffee shop’s storefront. (LaShawn Hudson/ WABE)

David Collins, one of the owners of Break Coffee Roasters in Duluth, started brainstorming about opening a coffee shop in 2018.

After years of planning, the brick-and-mortar shop opened to the community in February 2020, just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collins says ongoing support from the City of Duluth and the community, he and his team were able to keep the doors open while navigating safety protocols.

On Friday’s edition of “Closer Look” for the October installment of “Coffee Conversations,” show host Rose Scott and the team headed to Break Coffee Roasters.

First, Scott talked with Collins about operating a small business for the past three years, the process of roasting coffee, being a wholesale partner and serving the Duluth community.

Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris and Georgia state Rep. Ruwa Romman then discussed the most pressing issues facing their community, including affordable housing, immigration, mental health services, transit and community safety.

The conversation concluded with a roundtable discussion with Lisa Thompson, the president of the Duluth Business Association; Shamsun Nahar, the programs director for Center for Pan Asian Community Services; and Anh Molloy, the vice president and treasurer of Duluth Fine Arts League.