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Alumni Business Owners: Rachel '14 and Giovanni Ellzey '15

“Our favorite thing about coffee is the way it can bring people together. We wanted to do that in Wilmington. We wanted to make a place where people belong, gather around and come together. So we decided to do that."
~ Rachel Ellzey '14

Social Coffee Founders

July 15, 2022 | Jessica Shafer '25

With two locations within walking distance of UNCW’s campus, Social Coffee brings together and connects Seahawks. Owners Rachel ’14 and Giovanni Ellzey ’15 have been gathering people and hoping to make a difference one cup of coffee at a time.

Coffee Pour


Social Coffee Family

The two opened their first café on Wrightsville Avenue in a former residential home in February, 2019. When it came time to open a second location, another residential home became an option and the welcoming, community feel continued when the café on Oriole Drive opened in April, 2022.

The couple enjoys serving and employing many UNCW students while remaining connected to the university.

"Our biggest thing was we wanted to be close to campus because we remembered how much we loved being in coffee shops as students," Rachel says. "We wanted to serve that same community. It happened to be a home and that became part of our branding and atmosphere. This is who we are. We want people to feel like they're at home when they're hanging out with us.”

Social Coffee Video

Learn more from the Social Coffee family in this exclusive interview.

Alumni-owned businesses are a point of pride for the UNCW Alumni Association and connect the Seahawk family across the country and around the globe. Search the directory of alumni-owned businesses to see where you can #ShopSeahawk.