“The Perk” of Greensboro

Catherine Titus
Staff Writer

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Photo credit: Catherine Titus

The People’s Perk is a charming, eclectic coffee shop right around the corner from UNCG, occupying a spot in the historic College Hill neighborhood. Also known as “The Perk,” you can find a wide variety of coffee and teas supplied by all North Carolina providers: Vida Pour Tea, Synchronicity Coffee and Muddy Dog Roasting Company. Aside from their yummy drink options, the shop also serves Greensboro local bagels, muffins and donuts.

Run entirely by Karen Archia, The People’s Perk has a charm and energy akin to an artist’s personal studio. Archia describes the shop as, “an expression of myself.”

Upon browsing the space, you can find vibrant paintings both by the owner herself and her customers. In addition to artwork, you can purchase handmade, local goods such as lotions, beauty products, cards and a variety of other goods.

This shop is perfect for anybody searching for a cozy place to create, and enjoy something delicious while doing it.

“I’ve tried to create an artful, friendly [and] comfy kind of place,” said Archia, “and I hope that I’ve succeeded.”

The friendly atmosphere is ideal for anyone needing to catch up on homework, grab a coffee or just spend time socializing. If that’s not your style, the shop has the perk of a book collection to browse, a collection that is always growing and changing. Among these books, you can find critically acclaimed novel series, books of poetry and even the occasional “how to” instruction book.

An added bonus to this small spot is that returning customers are likely to see a familiar face upon return to The Perk; whether it’s the owner herself or devoted coffee aficionados, The People’s Perk claims a niche of loyal, regular customers.

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Photo credit: Catherine Titus

Her favorite thing about owning a coffee shop, Archia said, is “the people I get to meet every day. I have such a nice host of regulars that I just chat with and who I look forward to seeing and they look forward to seeing me. These relationships are just really nice.”

What Archia enjoys, she said, is getting to know her customers and being able to start each work day knowing that something new and different will happen than the day before.

An aspect of The People’s Perk that sets it apart from other coffee shops is that Archia and her customers enjoy the unique “self-portrait” wall guests far and wide have contributed to. The self-portrait wall is a place where customers can leave photos of themselves that they have created. The wall gives The Perk a personal touch and makes it feel like an even more familiar place for those spending time there.

But this is merely one of the distinctive features of the shop. The People’s Perk also holds the acclaimed mural created by the Greensboro Mural Project, which is an artistic portrayal of women of all races, sexualities and identities. The mural serves as a welcoming sign that the shop holds that it is as inviting as it is beautiful.

To keep things interesting, The Perk also features a new “drink of the month” each month. Customer favorites, such as “Love Potion tea” and the “Banana Caramel signature coffee,” have been added permanently to the menu due to their popularity.

All Archia’s exclusive lattes are personally hand-crafted and cater to any mood you might be in throughout the day. Mornings might call for a black cup of coffee or an Americano, and during hours spent studying or being creative, you can enjoy something extra decadent like her luxurious “Almond Joyful” latte.

Stop by The People’s Perk and find a drink for any occasion, a warm baked-good, a variety of books or enjoy unique works of art.

Categories: Community, Features, Human Interest

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