One of Richmond’s favorite neighorhood cafes, Kaleidoscope Coffee, will have a new owner starting Aug. 25.
Cassie Lamb, who founded Kaleidoscope Coffee at 109 Park Place in Point Richmond about a half-dozen years ago, recently announced Venkatesh (aka Venki) as the owner.
Lamb developed Kaleidoscope Coffee into a popular gathering place for community members, serving up quality coffee and food along with live performances, artist exhibitions, and even regular ukulele jams. Last year, she announced she was selling the financially “strong and stable” business in order to move on to a new chapter in her life.
New owner Venkatesh is a married father of two boys who grew up in India, according to a statement on Kaleidoscope Coffee’s website. He also owns an art gallery, works in the pharmaceutical industry as a senior analyst and runs marathons. He said owning an eclectic neighborhood coffee shop “has been my lifetime dream.”
“Growing up on streets of India, one of the best times of my day used to be drinking local south Indian filter coffee at my neighborhood cafe and my mom’s kitchen,” Venkatesh stated. “Both the places used to be a nexus of people interacting from all walks of life and were infused with the intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed coffee. At all stages of my life, coffee and cafes have been my safe place. Kaleidoscope Coffee is a nod to my past, my present and my future.”
In his announcement, Venkatesh said he has no plans to adjust prices or change the menu at Kaleidoscope Coffee. While Venkatesh says he’s not rushing to resume events that were put on hold by the pandemic, he says business hours could change when events do come back. Lamb plans to stick around in varying capacities for about three months to help with training and transition.
Lamb will also “spend some time over these next few months exploring her options.”
“Once upon a time, I dreamed of a place where I could welcome strangers as if into my own home, a second home for everyone, a place where people take care of people, cherished as individuals,” Lamb said in a statement. “With Kaleidoscope, and with all of you, I have lived that dream.”
She added, “From hello, to goodbye. Thank you. Let us all continue happily ever onwards.”