PHOENIX — “Rituals save people’s lives and coffee is a ritual. And that's important to any community,” says Catherine Zingg, Owner of Hakiri Coffee.
For the 23-year-old, Zingg’s community was built on wheels. The all-female team behind the small business coffee bus, Hakiri Coffee, was a concept that was created based on friendship and Zingg's identity.
"A coffee space that centered my indigenous language,” says Zingg. “I'm Ho-Chunk and I'm in the process of learning."
In order to make specialty brews, the bus relies on a lot of power from a generator that costs $2,700. Zingg bought one last month before a big pop-up event.
But then, she came home to discover the 200-pound generator was stolen. A thief took off with her newest piece of equipment.
"They were able to push it up and through my sidewalk and just walk away with it,” says Zingg.
The Phoenix Police Department says no arrests have been made but they are investigating.
"It's not a good feeling to know that someone could be watching you and your things that you're just trying to live off of,” says Zingg.
After the first generator was stolen, one of Zingg’s role models stepped up to help.
Melody Lewis (Mojave, Tewa, Hopi) is an indigenous entrepreneur at CahokiaPHX in Downtown Phoenix. Lewis offered to loan money for a new generator.
Zingg continues to work seven days a week to repay nearly $3,000 back, joined by her side hustle team.
"Small business ownership. I'm proud of what I'm doing with coffee, but I'm prouder of the friends that I'm making,” says Zingg.
If you would like to help Hakiri Coffee get back on its feet, consider donating to their GoFundMe.