It’s a Saturday morning and you’ve planned to meet a friend to go shopping. But it’s actually dangerous for you to make human contact before you get your coffee. Henry & June takes the life or death scenario out of this situation as a one-stop destination: It’s a dual clothing gallery and coffee shop located in the heart of Virginia Highlands.
Whitewashed brick walls, check. Custom neon “Of Course” sign, check. International contemporary designers, check. Coffee shots from a Synesso machine, check.
No, you aren’t in San Francisco or Brooklyn. Henry & June is the byproduct to and creative outlet for Atlanta couple Jim Chambers and Camryn Park’s romance.
“On our way back from our cross-country road trip last February, we stopped in Denver at a men’s streetwear concept store that just clicked with us.” Camryn reveals. “We jumped in the car and drove straight back to Atlanta to begin opening our own take on a coffee shop/boutique hybrid.”
Add a fascination with the author Henry Miller and his love affair with June Mansfield, and they were able to morph their interests into a substantial venture. There was a void in this city for both contemporary designers and coffee roasters from around the world, and the couple decided that Atlanta deserved better. So in July 2014, they opened the doors of Henry & June.
“We want [people] to know that when they come to see us, they’ll always find something new and different … we try to be daring with what we select, so as to foster a more diverse and edgy culture around fashion in the city,” Jim explains.
As legend has it, their love story coincidentally began in a coffee shop—Octane in Grant Park, in fact. Brooklyn native and writer Jim walked in only to notice a fiery Camryn sitting with a friend, talking about aspirations to make a business out of her vintage camera collection. He told the barista (more on that later) that he would fall in love with that girl. “There was something about him that caught my eye. Maybe it was his sweater with a polar bear on it,” Camryn laughs.
But wait. As if that backstory paired with a silk top and caffeine fix hasn’t hooked you yet, the same barista friend that served them on that fated day is the Henry & June “bean curator.” Daniel Mueller is known as a mad scientist of sorts when it comes to the bean, concocting signature drinks like The Arabica Palmer, a coffee and lemon soda combination that already has you intrigued. You’re sure to always get Nashville-based CREMA coffee, but Mueller rotates the menu with roasters you haven’t even heard of yet.
The same meticulous standards apply to the clothing, of course, with copper fixtures showcasing designers who have their seal of approval. “We want people to know that anything they find at our store has been conceived, sourced and produced the right way, that we care about brands who make good ethical choices,” Jim says. So hard-to-come-by designers like Creatures of Comfort (USA), Kaarem (Vietnam) and Margaux Lonnberg (France) are found alongside favorites like Rachel Comey, Imogene + Willie and collections from Atlanta designers, such as Megan Huntz.
Jim and Camryn keep it simple in order for “Henry & June to be a place where people walk in to grab a cup of coffee, but stay to enjoy the conversation and what’s around them.” Even with wedding bells around the corner, it hasn’t kept them distracted from dreaming what’s next for the shop. “We have plenty of future plans, but let’s just say the one I am currently most excited about is remodeling our inventory area to become a sort of lounge for creatives and extending the Parisian motif,” Camryn reveals.
While there is no official date set for this next phase of Henry & June, one thing is sure—this buzz is here to stay.
Henry & June is located at 784 N. Highland Ave. NE in Atlanta. Hours are Monday and Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, call (470) 355-9751 or visit henryandjuneatl.com.
All images courtesy of Henry & June