Coffee Conversations: Small business challenges on Atlanta’s BeltLine

Kayla Bellman, the founder and owner of Finca to Filter, opened her first location in 2020. (LaShawn Hudson/WABE)

Kayla Bellman, the founder and owner of Finca to Filter, first had the idea of changing the coffee industry while living in Guatemala back in 2016. She had the opportunity to meet several coffee farmers and distributors through her work with Habitat for Humanity Guatemala.

Her vision became reality in 2020, during the pandemic, when she opened her first location inside of Wild Heaven Brewery & Gardens along the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail. In October of 2023, she opened her first brick-and-mortar location in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

Bellman credits the growth of her business to her patrons and says it was very important to her that her businesses serve as safe places for the LGBTQ+ community. But for many small businesses along the Atlanta BeltLine, high rent prices threaten their longevity. Bellman says something needs to be done to help small businesses before more big box stores take over unique city spaces. 

Bellman was one of several panelists that “Closer Look” host Rose Scott talked with for the January installment of “Coffee Conversations.” The guests talked about the challenges and successes of operating a small business on or near Atlanta’s BeltLine.  

The guests included:

District 2 Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi

Juan Mendoza, the president of the Old Fourth Ward Business Association

Sarah Pierre, the owner 3 Parks Wine Shop

Emily Chan, the co-owner of JenChan’s

Lakeisha Jones, the owner of PinkPothos

Johnny Martinez, the co-owner of Joystick Gamebar