Coffee Conversations: Golden Drops Café owner talks family and coffee; Local Latino and Hispanic leaders discuss community issues

The Ramirez family gathers outside of Golden Drops Café. From left to right: Jauan Aquino, a barista at Golden Drops Café, Carlos Ramirez, (brother), Golden Drops Café employee, Clelia Montes de Oca, (mother), cook for Golden Drops Café and Victor Ramirez, owner of Golden Drops Café. (LaShawn Hudson/WABE)

Family, teamwork and coffee are the driving forces behind a Decatur-based coffee shop.

Golden Drops Café, known for blending American and Latin ingredients together to create artisan coffee drinks, is owned by Victor Ramirez.

The Dominican Republican native first opened the coffee bar in 2015 Beijing, China–but says he closed it down after struggling to get the business off the ground.

Ramirez says that he was struggling and living off credit cards when he returned to the United States–but says he believes his cousin’s spirit led him to Decatur to the Emory community, “She’s in heaven, we are here.”

Ramirez says his cousin’s wife was a coffee lover and worked at Emory University and asked him to reopen the coffee shop in Decatur so that she could stop in and drink coffee during her breaks.

“She could not see [the café] because she was diagnosed before the opening of Golden Drops in Beijing; she was diagnosed with cancer—we lost her, “he explained.  

Ramirez, who was a guest for the May installment of “Closer Look’s” Coffee Conversations, told show host Rose Scott he eventually connected with the owner of the building that he now rents and reopened his coffee business.

During the conversation, Ramirez talked about the joy of working alongside his family every day to serve the diverse community of Decatur.

“My family is my everything and when I say my family— I mean my friends too,” said Ramirez.

Following Ramirez’s conversation, Rose talked with a group of local Latino and Hispanic leaders about the most pressing issues facing their community, including affordable housing, immigration, education, mental health services, transit and community safety.

Guests included: Gigi Pedraza, the chief executive director of the Latino Community Fund Georgia, Belisa Urbina, the CEO of Ser Familia, Santiago Marquez, the CEO of the Latin American Association and Andres Parra, the program manager for civic engagement and community organizer at the GALEO Impact Fund.

Ramirez’s mother, Clelia Montes de Oca, closed out the live show with solo performance.