Lucy R. Valena
Lucy R. Valena

about Voltage Coffee & Art

Voltage Coffee began as an espresso catering service in 2008. It was originally launched with help from a micoloan from the Brewing the American Dream Program, an initiative by beer producer Samuel Adams in conjunction with Accion USA. The four thousand dollar loan bought me a small espresso machine and a Zipcar membership. The catering service was based out of CropCircle, an incubator kitchen in Jamaica Plain, MA.

My dream for a foxy coffeehouse and gallery was realized in 2010. Voltage Coffee & Art was funded by LaunchCapital, and built by the cool guys at Other City Builders. MADLAB Design created our logo, our print materials and website.

Over the five years I operated Voltage Coffee & Art, I was exceptionally lucky to work with many incredibly talented, hilarious and motivated individuals. Most of the original Voltage staff were close to me before we opened, and those who began as strangers became family very quickly. Voltage instantly became the unofficial living room of Kendall Square, the center of Boston’s tech scene, and it was often filled with people loudly exchanging ideas. We were proud to be the first true coffeehouse in Boston to serve coffee exclusively prepared one cup at a time.

Voltage was also meant to serve as a bridge space for emerging artists. With our illustrious curator Anna Schindelar, we hosted over 30 shows worth of amazing local art, which included installation, murals and sculpture, as well as hundreds of paintings, drawings and photographs.