Cocoa Cinnamon is a locally owned coffee shop managed by husband and wife team Leon and Areli Barrera de Grodski. As owners, they have a focus on community engagement as well as outstanding coffee, tea, and sipping chocolate. The atmosphere is relaxed and eclectic, with perks such as a large outdoor patio,  a community book swap station, and complementary wi-fi.

Photo credit: Corner Office Durham


Cocoa Cinnamon opened its first brick and mortar location in downtown Durham in January 2013.  The process of renovating their building (a former service station) was funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign. Contributions were  fueled by community appreciation of Leon and Areli's original brainchild: the bikeCOFFEE mobile beverage service.

A second storefront will open spring/summer 2015 in Old West Durham. The new location will be designed by Linton Architects in consultation with David Solow Art + Design. As with the original location, a commitment to supporting local artists will drive the look and feel.

Menu and Other Offerings

The Cocoa Cinnamon drink menu is filled with intriguing names such as the Dr. Durham and the Santa Sangre. It's not unusual to see signature coffees mixed with rosewater, black pepper, or ginger. There are also more traditional offerings like mochas and lattes. Non-coffee options include: tea, juice, sipping chocolate, wine, and beer. Everything is made to order and all coffee is hand-brewed.

Dr. Bartlett Leonidas Snipes Durham a.k.a. “Dr. Durham", a spiced latte topped with maca root powder, ginger root powder and black lava salt.

Photo: Ildar Sagdejev


There is no set food menu at Cocoa Cinnamon. They do provide a small, rotating daily selection of Mediterranean food and baked goods supplied by local businesses. Many of the offerings are gluten-free, vegan and/or raw. In addition, Cocoa Cinnamon frequently hosts food trucks in their parking lot, including Halal Brothers and Wicked Biscuit Co.

The shop also stocks a wide variety of artisan chocolate bars and spreads as well as t-shirts, coffee presses, and postcards by local artists.

Community Engagement

Cocoa Cinnamon has demonstrated their commitment to community in several ways. They guarantee a living wage for all employees, starting at $13 per hour for non-tipped staff.

They also offer a community coffee program in which customers can choose to donate money towards a future guest's free drink. Visitors who can't afford a beverage ask for "community coffee" when they order, and the barista provides their selection for free.

Owners Leon and Areli are also highly committed to the local trifecta: food, business, and art. Their website lists the local vendors they support.


420 West Geer Street

Durham, NC 27701


Mon-Thur: 7:30am to 10:00pm
Friday: 7:30am to 11:00pm
Saturday: 8am to 11:00pm
Sunday: 8am to 10pm

(919) 697-8990
Website and Social Media

January 28, 2013 (first week of regular shop hours)
Price Range

$2.50 - $5.00 for coffee, tea, juice, and sipping chocolate

$6.00 - $9.00 for wine by the glass

$4.00 - $18.00 for specialty beer

Payment Methods
Cash and credit card (no checks)
Wheelchair Accessibility

There is handicapped parking available. The building has a wheelchair ramp and there is room to maneuver inside.

The bathroom may not be accessible, depending on the size of the wheelchair.

Related Links

Full menu:  (Click "view all items" link under Online Store.)

"Cocoa Cinnamon: The Sequel"  (INDY Week, May 21, 2014)

"Coffee talk: Cocoa Cinnamon brings rich history to brews" (WRAL, February 4, 2014)

"Stuff We Like: Cocoa Cinnamon Opens Its Doors" (Durham Magazine)