“My mission statement is ‘Purpose in a cup,’” said 38-year-old Shalimar Williams, sitting in her brand new business along Northeast Alberta Street.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Early Friday morning, Shalimar Williams got up and, just as she does most mornings, went into work at her new job: Running Holy Beanz Coffee Shop on Northeast Alberta Street. She opened the business three weeks ago.

Even amid the economic slump tied to the pandemic, another coffee shop opening in Portland might not normally make the news in a city that has plenty of them. But for Williams, the road to this point was long and hard. In fact, she said, it nearly killed her.

“I’ve been through a lot of trials. I’ve survived. One parent was incarcerated. One parent was an addict. They’re great now. I was incarcerated for a couple years,” she said in an interview last week, sitting in…



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