Bobby Logue, owner, and founder of Bodhi Coffee—with two locations in Headhouse Square and Washington Square West—sees shared value between local art and lattes: both are artisan-made, handcrafted, conscientious, and sustainable. Having sensibility for all of the above have been, for the most part, inherent throughout Bobby’s career as a builder. After backpacking through Southeast Asia, he brought back a vision a
nd mission for all things at his coffee shop to be locally sourced and crafted—while avoiding the cliche notion of bodhisattva-labeling—he sets his focus on the aspect of community building through art, design, and no other than a freshly brewed cup of Stumptown. Since it’s opening at the original 2nd Street location in Headhouse Square, Bodhi Coffee hosts activities from board game nights, knit-and-crochet meetups, open-mic nights, and even terrarium-making workshops. Now partnering with InLiquid Art + Design, Bodhi Coffee opened a mini boutique in January, rotating a collection of art, ceramics, jewelry, and more. While installing the new boutique, we had a chance to talk with Bobby about this latest endeavor.
Where did the name ‘Bodhi’ come from?
Bobby: Bodhi starts with a trip I took to Nepal. Always having a fondness for Buddhism and wanting to include that ideology in the business, I didn’t want the name to be something like “Zen cafe.”
Both Bodhi Coffee locations have such a unique interior, so crisp, clean, and effortless. What inspired you to do go with a minimalist design?
Bobby: Minimalist design is something that has run through my life as a builder. I have always been re-doing houses, which later translated into little commercial spaces and cafes. Bodhi was an opportunity to put out there the use of very simple minimalist design techniques like deconstructed building materials, but also respecting what is local. All of the shop’s fixtures, furniture are all sourced and made locally.
What kind of changes have you seen in the Headhouse Square district?
Bobby: Headhouse square has served as a neighborhood that time has forgotten a little bit.Back when I was a kid in the 70s, there was no other place to go that’s where everything happened…Then, of course, the city has continued to expand, and its traveled back to being a neighborhood commercial district.
I subscribe to the reconstruction philosophy of Ed Bacon, the city planner. from the 50s to the end of the century. Bacon was fine with new construction, as long as it didn’t detract from the original scale and quality of a neighborhood. Society Hill was his first project if you look at
He really saved Philadelphia in many ways. The wrecking balls were poised, and Society Hill was about to become a strip mall with sweeping highways and he was diametrically opposed to that—he plunged himself into making sure that didn’t happen.
What do you look forward to most in the new partnership with InLiquid?
Bobby: My original hope for Bodhi was always to be able to brand a little company that represented all that Philadelphia could possibly be. Given the opportunity to collaborate with InLiquid; which in many ways is the epicenter of local art and an outlet for artists to sell their work. I couldn’t think of anything more suitable to my original vision for Bodhi.
Check out InLiquid’s mini-boutique, currently selling the work of Jerry Bennet, Danielle Catté, Veru Designs, and Sandra Mournet Tarcov. Now open at Bodhi Coffee’s 2nd Street location:
410 S. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147