Arnoldo Hurtado, the creator of Northside’s new website, said it was time to uplift the community and its entrepreneurs.
FORT WORTH, Texas — Something is brewing in Northside Fort Worth…
Along Central Avenue, Casa Azul, or “The Blue House,” takes off less than six months after owner Joseph Landers opened the Latino-owned cafe.
“It’s awesome,” Landeros said.
On Thursday afternoon, a line of customers suddenly formed at lunchtime with people eager to get their midday coffee fix.
“It’s really humbling,” Landeros said.
In 2021, he quit his job as a barista at Starbucks and opened a cafe inspired by the house Frida Kahlo grew up in. Landeros and his wife decided to open their cafe in a predominantly Latino neighborhood.
They serve coffee, but the community is the focus.
“It’s a sense of belonging within the community… something that communities can really hang their hats on,” Landeros said.
It was said that the Northside community needed a cafe and a gathering place within walking distance.
Now there is a big push to help small businesses in the historic district.
Arnoldo Hurtado, a community leader, recently launched the Northside Fort Worth website. It showcases artists, creatives and small businesses in Northside and gives them a platform to attract new customers.
“All I want to see is my community thrive. I mean, it’s as simple as that,” Hurtado said.
The website lists 22 small business owners in its business directory. Additionally, it offers a blog to showcase the work of entrepreneurs in the community. Hurtado said there are plans to expand the website even further.
Hurtado runs a Northside Community Facebook page that has attracted over 12,000 followers. It serves as a space for neighbors to stay informed and engage in dialogue.
Hurtado, who grew up in Northside, said he wants Fort Worth to embrace Northside as it is.
“There is an existing community,” Hurtado said.
That’s why he launched the new website. He wants people everywhere to know that Northside has something to offer.
“There’s so much culture and so much identity,” Hurtado said.
In the past, Hurtado and other community leaders have raised concerns about revitalization plans. They feared that new developments would lead to gentrification.
City leaders argued that was not the case, but Hurtado said he felt responsible for bringing his community together to prevent this from happening.
“It’s very important that we showcase the community because it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of development and new, new, new,” Hurtado said.
“But it’s also really important to pay tribute to the people who really laid the groundwork,” Hurtado said.
It is a grassroots effort to build the community by uplifting those who live and work there. He said the groundwork begins with supporting unique businesses like Casa Azul.
“It gives people my culture and the chance to experience new flavors and styles of coffee,” Landeros said.
He hopes to continue pouring into this community one cup at a time.