Nyshaun Harvey owns Kingdom Kids Learning Center and now Latte Lounge.
Harvey’s father’s untimely death in 2012 brought indescribable pain and sadness into her life, triggering unbearable migraines. She was 14 years old at the time and couldn’t fully process what happened.
After asking her mom for a cup of coffee, Harvey soon found a solution to her problem — the caffeine helped alleviate her symptoms, causing the migraines to subside.
From that day forward her love for coffee grew, even though it was tragedy that introduced her to a passion for caffeine. Last month, Harvey now 23, opened Latté Lounge, a stylish coffee shop two doors down from her day care facility, Kingdom Kids Learning Center.
“It’s crazy how something that was so horrible happened to me birthed something so beautiful now,” Harvey said. “We’re six years later, but for two years I suffered from migraines and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Coffee [didn’t make migraines] go away, but instead made [the headaches] subside. That experience motivated me to create a business.”
In an indirect way, coffee was an inadvertent motivator.
About two and a half years ago, Harvey wrote in her journal that she wanted to own a coffee shop.
Harvey didn’t immediately have a plan for how she would make that happen. She had just moved her day care facility from Jennings to Florissant, and sure enough, a year later she learned the space was up for sale. After reviewing its potential, Harvey concluded that the space was perfect for a coffee shop — and it was close enough that she could easily walk from her first business to her second one.
Planning, preparation, and execution took 14 months. Her original plan was to have the renovation completed in six, but the coronavirus pandemic made it take much longer. For example, just finding an affordable contractor was an issue and work had to conform to a range of city codes.
“Opening Latté Lounge during the pandemic was tough because I was not only in the process of opening a new business,I was also in the middle of running another one. Switching things around meant I had to take precautionary measures,” Harvey said.
“I definitely believe time was a huge factor and COVID had a role in the time it took to open” she said. “I’m very grateful to finally be open and to allow people to order inside for takeout. It was tough, but it was worth it.”
With Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts also in the area, Harvey says she isn’t in competition with them. She believes her shop’s environment has a different feel from the chain establishments.
Its white walls brighten the space, and well-placed greenery lends a dramatic contrast. Oversized photographs of her grandparents are on prominent display.
“We hope to be set apart by setting the tone when people walk in the door, that they can just feel that there’s something different when they walk in here,” Harvey said. “I did a lot of copper tones and modern decor that people are looking for when they go into a coffee shop.
“They’re looking to take a picture somewhere, because ‘what else are we going to do, right?’ Put it on Instagram.”
“The biggest thing that we want people to know about Kingdom Kids is we’re trying to train up the next generation to know who they are and whose they are,” Harvey said. “We live in a really cruel world.
“We want them to go out in that world and stand bold, stand fierce in front of those around them and tell them this is who I am. We believe that the kids we’re encountering everyday are going to change nations and generations.”
Faith isn't the only element that sets Harvey’s learning center apart from others. It also offers children organic food, and allows them to engage in interactive learning activities.
“We serve organic food because I strongly believe what goes into their bodies has a major impact on their everyday life,” Harvey said. “We also provide them with experience by bringing in different groups sometimes such as the Bubble Bus [a colorful minivan offers bubble blowing parties around town]. On another day, there might be a petting zoo. We do those activities to keep youngsters engaged and active.”
The journey to Harvey having not one, but two businesses wasn’t easy, but she appreciates it and believes it was all worth the effort in the end.
“I worked hard to get where I am today,” Harvey said. “I’m truly thankful for both locations and all that have come through them.”
Latté Lounge is at 2190 N. Waterford Drive, Florissant. Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. For more information visit its Facebook and Instagram pages @Latté Lounge.
Kingdom Kids Learning Center is at 2184 N Waterford Drive, Florissant
Visit www.kingdomklc.com for more information.