All photos c/o Mina's World, captured by Gab Bonghi for Eater Philadelphia.
"Mina's World oozes deliciousness, community care, and good vibes," one loyal customer gushes. From their house-made cardamom syrup to the pea-and-tofu samosas, it's easy to see why Sonam Parikh's and Kate Egghart's coffee shop, Mina's World, is highly regarded in their West Philadelphia neighborhood and beyond. But in addition to their flavorful drink and food menu, it's the deep connections they have cultivated with their community and those involved in Mina's World that make the space they've created so special.
Today, Parikh and Egghart share their coffee journeys, the importance of transparency, the beauty of imperfection, and their other love— music.
Brewista: In a single sentence, can you tell us who you are as a human being?
Parikh: I am a very curious person.
Do you remember your first (ever) sip of coffee? Tell us a little about it.
Parikh: Yes! My mom and I used to wait at diners in Brooklyn while waiting for the train, and she would always get a cup of coffee, light and sweet. Whenever she would go to the bathroom I would steal sips. It was like a forbidden nectar.
Egghart: I loved the smell of coffee and asked my mother for a sip she said, “No”. The next week I asked my father and he said, “Yes”. I remember it tasting more bitter and dirty than I expected and I felt confused why anyone would choose this over water or juice.
What do you love most about your work?
Parikh: I love meeting people, I love making connections, I love learning about the ways my own culture intersects with serving and making coffee.
Egghart: I love methodical and repetitive movement creating unique things for nice people.
If you had a magic wand and could make one change about the coffee industry, what would it be and why?
Parikh: More transparency, from the top down. Baristas and hourly workers are out here fighting for equity while the heads of gigantic companies quietly pocket what they need and leave the table. It’s not right. Even more than transparency, we need responsibility. We need to honor the people who cultivate the coffee we buy. We need to make sure there are systems in place to ensure the agricultural integrity of the land and the people who steward it, and are indigenous to it.
For us, as coffee people, we stand on the platform that farmers give us, that roasters give us. It’s so easy to wonder why a cup of coffee can amount to $4.00. I would like it to be as simple to understand HOW a cup of coffee can justifiably be $4.00.
Egghart: I would love it if the pretensions of “good” and “bad” coffee could be separated from cafe culture and at home experiences.
On days when you are tired to wake up, what are things (besides coffee) that get you out of bed?
Parikh: My dogs! The sun! The idea of starting all over again.
What does your morning ritual (coffee or no-coffee) look like?
Parikh: Drink water, then COFFEEEEEEEE, then walking the dogs while trying very hard not to look at my phone, listening to music, succumbing to my phone, checking up on Mina’s World and going to work.
Egghart: I look at my phone until my skull hurts and then I do last night’s dishes while the coffee drips. I like staring out the window at the sky too.
All photos c/o Mina's World captured by Gab Bonghi for Eater Philadelphia.
What music do you listen to while you and your team work to get hyped or to help you focus?
Parikh: Everybody at Mina’s World has incredible taste. On Sundays there’s jazz. Nae and Sonia have a special Tuesday morning playlist going. Diente always has the craziest deep cuts on Wednesdays and Sundays - lots of international garage rock and Ehtiopian jazz. There are many moods of the shop, based on weather and vibe. We have this one playlist on deck called Breathing Earth II, and it’s all soft and nourishing new age music. We’re all artists and musicians so I could really go on… so I won’t.
Egghart: In the morning I really like borderline ambient soft music, like harold budd and biran eno. During Rushes I like kraut rock like NEU! Or gay drum and bass…. Slow afternoons I like sad country and rock, like robert lester folsom.
Is there anything we didn’t talk about that you would love people to know about or leave people with?
Parikh: I would love to reiterate that we are not a perfect cafe. We do our best and we make mistakes all of the time. We are a new shop, and we are a shop that will continue to learn and try again. Support us. We deserve it. Ship some beans and merch and beautiful locally made goods to you via mw4u.net.
Egghart: It’d be nice to leave people feeling good and happy :)
How can people find out more about Mina’s World and the latest things you’re working on?
Follow us on IG! We’re the most active there! @minasworld4you!
Editor's Note: Mina's World also helps manage The People's Fridge. The community fridge is cared for and filled by the people of West Philadelphia with the ethos that food is a human right and that everyone deserves to eat. They are currently raising funds so the fridge team can continue to shop and maintain the fridge. You can support them here.