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Teen Entrepreneur Perks Up Morgan Park

Teen entrepreneur Erin Polk and Kale Hunter are co-owners of the Morgan Park coffee shop Erin’s Cup.

Embarking on her entrepreneurial journey at just 17 years old, De La Salle student Erin Polk has transformed her passion into a purpose by establishing “Erin’s Cup” in the Morgan Park community of Chicago. With a vision to enhance the local experience, Polk’s coffee shop offers refreshing beverages and tasty treats that delights  the taste buds of her customers.

What sets “Erin’s Cup” apart is its family ambiance, complemented by personable service, warm music, and cozy conversations. Polk, inspired by her mother’s catering business, ensures that her customers feel at ease and fully content with their delightful drinks. The love for coffee became the catalyst for Polk’s entrepreneurial dream.

Despite managing a full-time schedule as a De La Salle student, Polk takes charge of “Erin’s Cup” on weekends. To maintain operations seamlessly, she has hired the expertise of co-owner Kale Hunter, one who has over 20 years of coffee experience. Having worked with major corporations like Starbucks and independent coffee shops in Dallas, Hunter brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. His specialty lies in creating personalized drinks tailored to each customer’s preferences, emphasizing, “It’s not just a recipe; it’s about giving them exactly what they want.”

Navigating the challenges of high school and business ownership simultaneously, Polk finds joy in her journey, stating, “It is not the easiest task, but it’s something that is so rewarding, and I love it.” She encourages fellow teens to persevere in their goals, emphasizing the eventual payoff.

Looking to the future, Polk envisions expanding her business throughout the Chicagoland area and dreams of branching out to different cities. Reflecting on her experience, she shares, “This journey has ignited a passion within me to keep growing and going. I’ve found something I genuinely enjoy and love.”

For those eager to explore “Erin’s Cup,” follow @Erins_cup on Instagram and visit the coffee shop at 1212 W. 111th St. Join in supporting this young black entrepreneur as she continues to make her mark.


By Dasia Garner, Sophomore, North Carolina A&T

Instagram: @theofficialdasia_


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Written by Dasia Garner

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