We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikaela Schipani, Joel Carpenter & Monique Huntington-Keitz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mikaela, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I rely heavily on my “gut feeling” when it comes pursuing a goal or abandoning something that just isn’t working. If you’ve got the fire in your belly, then you are going to want to see it through to the end. There is a “pure intention” that fuels the pursuit. If there are red flags that you can’t seem to shake, it’s time to move on to something else. You know when something truly doesn’t feel right. It is important to listen to your instincts. It will save you time and frustration.

What should our readers know about your business?
Monique is a florist who does these beautiful installations, Joel has been working in the restaurant industry since he was a teen, and I spent my twenties as an actor & model. Somehow our paths converged in the coffee industry, a passion we all share. It quickly became obvious that the next step was to open a shop of our own. We each bring something different to the table, and we were able to slip right into the roles that best suited us. We opened right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. With supply shortages, labor challenges, and everything else the pandemic has thrown our way, we received a valuable crash course in running a new business in the harshest of times. In the beginning, we had no idea whether our little shop was going to survive, but we made a conscious decision to see it through. We’ve always seen ourselves as more than a coffee shop or a cafe; we are a space to gather, and a place to grow. As word of mouth spread, and we pursued relationships with customers, local artists, and other small businesses, things just fell into place so beautifully. We are so proud of the welcoming space that we have created, and the community based relationships that we have forged.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
South Florida, and Oakland Park in particular, are burgeoning with amazing shops, food, and culture. Our Oakland Park tour would start with a yoga class at Mission Yoga. After a nice reset, we’d walk to Tatt’s & Tacos for margaritas & an outdoor lunch. After shopping at The Wander Shop for some unique boutique pieces of clothing & accessories, we’d head to Miami! You can’t come to South Florida without take a day trip to Miami. Since we are coffee lovers, we’d start with a coffee crawl: Sabal, Vice City Bean, and Breezeblock would all be on the itinerary. An afternoon break at the Perez Art Museum would be the next stop. We’d end the day with cocktails at Jaguar Sun.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business partners Joel Carpenter and Monique Huntington-Keitz. We worked together to make this dream a reality!

Website: www.cythco.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cythco/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cythco

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/cyth-and-co-oakland-park

Image Credits
All photos taken by Mikaela schipani, except the photo with the 3 owners, which was taken by Rhiannon Samoyedny

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