We embrace community, quality tea and simplicity. We did not forget about the coffee lovers; we'll be offering some coffee drinks. At Open Door Tea Shop, we employ reintegrating adults from prison. Artwork sold in the facility is created by inmates and reintegrating adults. All proceeds will go to the families and children left behind due to incarceration. Part of the proceeds will also be given to the inmates to continue to create art in prison. 

Open Door Tea Shop has over 25 loose leaf tea options, a range of chai teas, chai lattes, iced teas and energy teas. 


Owner, Kristin Cardenas: A Denver native, Kristin has a deep passion and love for community. Open Door Tea Shop is truly a dream come true; it's a place for the community to enjoy food, beverages and most importantly, gather together. She was born in NE Denver and has deep roots in the Cole and Clayton neighborhood where she resided for over a decade. Her father is a retired District 2 Police Officer who began patrolling the area in 79. Kristin now sits on the board of District 2 Police Department, Top Cop and many other committees throughout Denver. Kristin is an artist, educator and social justice advocate. Kristin is the founder and Executive Director of Denver Arts & Skills Center (DASC) a non-profit that increases reintegrating adults' access to the arts. In the evening at Open Door Tea Shop, DASC will offer art therapy sessions to reintegrating adults recently released from prison. Kristin is a mother of 4 beautiful children, a wife, an artist and someone who truly believes in providing second chances. 

Tea Shop Manager, William Gomez: From the age of 8, William was in and out of the system due to a chaotic and unsafe family life. He spent a good deal of his childhood in facilities such as Denver Children Home, Gemini Shelter, Urban Peak and Bannock Shelter. William worked hard and successfully obtained his GED.  He then pursued a degree at Westwood Community College in Computer Networking. William is a Denver native and has deep roots in the Cole neighborhood, where his family has resided for nearly a decade. William was released from prison in 2017 and will be working full-time at Open Door Tea Shop while pursuing his passion of the arts.

                      Thank you to Noah "Tuke" Baker for the amazing and inspiring mural.   

                      Thank you to Noah "Tuke" Baker for the amazing and inspiring mural. 

Criminal Justice Reform Through The Arts Campaign

It's time. Time to advocate for criminal justice reform in our community. Open Door Tea Shop and Denver Arts & Skills Center is launching a criminal justice reform through the arts campaign: Resilience Art Therapy Program. A 10-week trauma informed art therapy program using the creative process of making art to improve formerly incarcerated adult's physical, mental and emotional health. 

The majority of the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated either suffer from severe PTSD from trauma or a mental health disorder. The prisons are releasing these people into society with very little money and often no support system into: extremely low-quality treatment programs, privately funded, for-profit halfway houses. 

These people have served their time and paid their consequences. What the formerly incarcerated need equally, if not more to a job and affordable housing, is healing. They need and deserve the opportunity to be healed.

Please help up raise $20,000.00 for our criminal justice reform campaign to increase the formerly incarcerated access to art therapy.



Open Door Tea Shop is so incredibly excited and humble to partner with PrisonArte. Susana Gallegos, founder of PrisonArte is a wife of an artist who's received and served a lengthy sentence in prison. Co-Founder is Daniel Gallegos aka Che, husband of Susan. Susan witnessed the impact of art with her husband and the inmate population not only as an outlet for their emotions but also a way to financially contribute to their families.