‘Kǫ̀ is Tłı̨chǫ for home’: Indigenous owned coffee shop set to close its doors next month

“I really enjoyed making somebody’s day better with something so small as a cup of coffee," says the owner.

Birchwood Coffee Kǫ̀ will be closing on June 14th. (Photo by Mariah Caruso/ CKLB Radio)

The beloved coffee shop Birchwood Coffee Kǫ̀ in downtown Yellowknife is set to close its doors on June 14th.

Jawah Scott opened this coffee shop with her father Patrick Scott 8 years ago.

“Kǫ̀ is Tłı̨chǫ for home.” says Jawah. “We wanted to make a space that felt like home and invite people in the community to have coffee with their friends and family.”

“I loved the whole experience of being a part of the community, all the relationships I’ve had with different staff. It has become my second family and a huge part of my life,” says Jawah, “I really enjoyed making somebody’s day better with something so small as a cup of coffee.”

Jawah has been working in different coffee shops since she was 14 years old. It has always been a dream to have a place of her own. Her father Patrick gave her faith and support to finally open this family-owned coffee shop.

The shop has endured the pandemic, wildfire seasons, inflation and staff shortage since its opening. Nevertheless, Jawah says it is the support from the Yellowknife community that kept them going.

She mentions that part of the reasoning for the closure is due to her father’s health issues and the fact that she is starting a new family.

They announced the closure on Facebook today. The post has received over 200 likes and reactions from her customers and patrons within an hour, with heartfelt comments expressing gratitude and sadness.

One comment reads, “Thank you for the many times you unknowingly comforted me with a cup of tea and good service. Thank you for bringing treats to the back alley when the kids were asleep in the backseat. Thank you for doing what you could for the community. Sorry happy for you whilst so sad for us.”

Jawah says it is a difficult decision to close the shop and it’s hard to say goodbye to her patrons.

“We are so grateful for all the support we’ve had throughout the eight years, and we can’t thank everybody enough for the time they’ve spent and memories we’ve shared,” says Jawah, “It’s been a really great experience to be a part of the community in that way, and it’s really hard walking away from something that we have loved and cherished.”

About the Author

Josie Jiaxuan Wu
Josie Jiaxuan Wu is a multimedia journalist with a focus on cultural diversity, social justice and human interest stories. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master of Journalism degree. Through her storytelling, she strives to improve the representation of marginalized communities. For story ideas, Josie welcomes inquiries via emails at jwu@cklbradio.com.