roaster wins a grant from Courvoisier and the National Urban League | Business
When Nikisha Bailey and Matthew Nam acquired Win Win Coffee Bar in June 2019, they wanted to create an outlet for local creatives.
“It was really like a community space and we were known for it,” Bailey said. “It was really important for us to show that representation to others, because there aren’t a lot of black owned businesses in Philly – to show people that if we can do it, you can do it.”
Their cafe in the Callowhill section of Philadelphia was a thriving place where people could view works of art, listen to live music, and enjoy coffee or cocktails.
But then the pandemic struck last March and the cafe was closed due to government mandates. Entrepreneurs have turned to become a roaster. Their coffee is a dark roast specialty with a milk chocolate finish.
“We are the premier black woman-led coffee roasting and roasting training center in Philadelphia,” said Bailey, a native of St. Louis.
“I want to get other black people to roast coffee because I feel like we don’t have a lot of representation.”
She recently won a $ 50,000 grant from Maison Courvoisier and the National Urban League to help her grow and develop her business.
Bailey was one of three finalists who presented their company live to a panel of judges from Courvoisier and NUL. During the NUL national conference, Courvoisier awarded $ 200,000 in financial grants to 12 small business owners who were nominated by the Urban League’s regional entrepreneurship centers.
“It was amazing,” Bailey said of his participation in the pitch competition. “It was an honor to be able to tell people what my vision is and what our goal is with the brand.”
She and her business partner are using the grant funding to set up a new space to accommodate their roaster and hire more employees. Bailey hopes to hire more African American women and close the gender gap in the coffee industry.
Funding for the grant is part of Courvoisier’s $ 1 million financial commitment to black and minority-owned businesses through his Foundation 1828 philanthropic platform.
“Entrepreneurs come in many different forms, from all walks of life and with different income levels. Courvoisier recognizes the importance of nurturing that motivation, passion and creativity in these people around the world, especially those who may have odds against them, ”said Jon Potter, CEO of Maison Courvoisier in a statement from hurry.
“Foundation 1828 is designed to unify our mission and have lasting impact by assessing the critical needs of underserved communities in our major global markets to create authentic programming that will deliver lasting benefits to entrepreneurs for years to come. “
The Win Win Coffee Bar is expected to move from 931 Spring Garden St. to a new location before the end of the year.
“We’ll always have the coffee element, but the roasting is really what’s going to fuel the mission behind Win Win,” Bailey explained.
“We think we’ve been able to create more opportunities for people if we’re able to roast just because it’s such a big and profitable industry. I always say the three Cs: coffee, creativity and community are the things that are important to me.
Bailey says the most difficult aspect of owning a business is lack of access to capital and resources.
“When my partner and I first started Win Win, we were from the corporate world, so we had decent salaries, but neither of us had owned a business before, so we didn’t got bank loan, ”Bailey said. “We couldn’t qualify, so we used our own savings to really fuel the business. “
Bailey is an executive at Atlantic Records and Nam has a background in technology.
Bailey spent a lot of time researching the coffee industry before embarking on roasting.
“Through my research, I have seen a lack of representation of minorities in the coffee industry, even though it is one of the most traded commodities in the world,” said Bailey, member of the board. of Women in Music, a non-profit organization.
“You don’t see a lot of black people and you don’t see a lot of women.”
She said what makes Win Win Coffee unique is that they are only diaspora-focused and committed to working with other black business owners.
Bailey and his business partner are currently participating in an Aramark Accelerator Program, where they learn how to wholesale supplies. Their coffee is sold through https://winwin.coffee and they said they are trying to get it sold through top retailers such as Target and Whole Foods.