Four years ago, The 402 and Aromas came together with a similar goal in mind: to create a safe place for everyone, no matter their age. The Benson neighborhood was a great choice for this shared space because it already provided a great atmosphere for people of all ages, as well as a great sense of community.

While it's been many years since we first opened this shared space with The 402, we still tend to get an array of questions from both local and out of town customers about our Benson shop. Our blog created a great avenue to explain to our customers some of their most frequent questions. Below you'll find an interview between our Benson shop manager, Grace Dahlke, and Natalee Nelson, Director of Marketing and Outreach for The 402 Arts Collective. 

What is The 402 Arts Collective?

It is a non-profit network of artists that are committed to serving the community of Omaha. We as an organization believe that when we give these artists the tools to be successful it can create a heart of service to change the culture in our neighborhood and city. The vision for the staff here is to create a space that cultivates life skills. Through teaching and performing, students can learn skills such as confidence, communication and teamwork.“We want to lead artists from the practice room to the stage.”

Is Aromas Coffeehouse and The 402 the same thing?

No. Aromas and The 402 are a shared space. Aromas runs the day to day operation of the event space for The 402. We share a heart for creating a space in the Benson community for people through all stages of life. When Ben and Autumn opened this, they wanted a space to compliment each other in their goals to change the culture of the city and specifically, Benson.

What does this mean for customers of Aromas on a day to day basis?

Since we have the opportunity to be a shared space with The 402, the Aromas cafe is often rented out and used for performances. The stage allows The 402’s goals of creating confidence in their students a reality. On Monday evenings, you will find the shop filled with local talent for Open Mic Night. This May, they have launched an event called New Music Tuesdays for more developed artists who want to fine tune their on stage performances.

For Benson First Fridays, the art gallery changes as they introduce a new artist into the community. These gallery openings are always centered around those same skills they try to cultivate with the music side. Lastly, the shared space allows for The 402 to bring in smaller musical artists on tour from all across the Midwest. On any given Friday or Saturday night, you might find the cafe closing early for a concert. As a customer of Aromas, we want to be able to equip you with information so you’ll have the best experience possible. Moving forward, we as a shared space will try and effectively communicate events. There will be calendars posted on all social media networks along with event postings in the shop. These will be updated as needed. Feel free to ask the Aromas baristas with any further questions or concerns.

The Aromas cafe side will close for events and open mics. However, the cafe and walk up window will remain open for walk-ups or participants in the events. The 402 welcomes any and everyone from the community to join in all the events. Out of respect for the artists, there will be cover charges for select shows and openings.

Overall,  The 402 and Aromas Coffeehouse are excited as the Benson neighborhood becomes an integral part of this city. We hope you as customers want to join in our vision for a shared community space for all ages. 

For more information about both sides of this shared space, please visit our Aromas + Bliss website or check out The 402 Arts Collective at

And as always, keep your eyes on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for details about upcoming shows and events in Benson!