Persimmon coffee shop brings pandemic dream a reality

ByWendy Daughenbaugh via WPVI logo
Monday, September 20, 2021
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Every weekday, you'll find Sawyer Beckley and Kai Talim selling their Persimmon coffee outside Essene Market and Cafe in Queen Village.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Every weekday from 8 a.m. -noon, you'll find Sawyer Beckley and Kai Talim selling their Persimmon coffee outside Essene Market and Cafe in Queen Village.

"Coffee is primarily a gateway to building community," says Beckley, the roaster. Talim does operations and communications, and Chaereen Pak, the third partner in this small-batch coffee venture, is the designer of Persimmon's logo.

Their brand is focused on sustainability. They release just one coffee at a time, "So that we can offer it to the world as something that persimmon really focused on and loved," Talim says.

It's almost always single-origin and sometimes from a specific farm. Beckley gravitates towards light or medium roasts and they sell it by the bag or prepared however you like it.

"Just straight espresso to iced or hot lattes to cappuccinos to americanos," Beckley says.

And three's always a seasonal specialty drink on the menu. For summer, it's the cloud dancer made with muddled espresso and blueberry preserves, topped with heavy cream and fresh mint Come fall, they'll switch to their take on the spiced pumpkin latte.

The trio met while working together in a coffee shop, and then COVID came.

They dreamed of opening their own shop in the future but the pandemic gave the dream a sense of urgency.

"Everything can change at the snap of a finger," Talim says. "I don't want to always push things back," Pak adds, "I'd rather regret doing something than regret not doing something."

"We launched on Christmas Day," says Beckley, "kind of with the idea that Persimmon was our gift to the people around us."

The Persimmon name and logo was meant to grab attention.

"It's been really cool to see Asians just stop in their tracks, and they're like, oh, persimmons! That's an Asian fruit," says Chaereen, "What's your backstory?

Talim is a pianist and podcaster, with a podcast called Skip the Repeat, "All about artists and entrepreneurs who changed directions and reinvented themselves."

Pak is a full-time designer for a sneaker startup. But Beckley, trained in kinesiology, went all-in on Persimmon.

Their next goal?

"A space of our own," Pak says. "We're working on something," Talim teases, "So stay tuned."

Persimmon Coffee | Facebook | Instagram

M-F, 8am-noon, Essene Market & Cafe

719 S. 4th Street (4th & Moore), Philadelphia, Pa. 19147

First two Saturdays of every month

1613 Pine Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Remaining Saturdays & Sundays: check their Instagram for special popups