Red Bay Coffee, an Oakland-based, Black-owned coffee brand, just secured its Series A funding round.
Photojournalist Keba Konte started Red Bay Coffee in 2014, creating a space where coffee and art could collide. David Drummond, the senior vice president of corporate development at Alphabet Inc., and Sundial Brands Founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis, helped lead the funding round for Red Bay Coffee.
Red Bay Coffee is a pillar in the Fruitvale community–where it’s based–and uses its space to host panel discussions, screen films, and launch products. The company also sources its coffee from countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and more.
In 2018, Konte told AfroTech “My home is Oakland.”
“The spirit of Oakland is in line with Red Bay Coffee’s mission. There is an entrepreneurial and artistic spirit in the water here,” Konte said.
Red Bay has also been a wholesale supplier for major tech companies like Facebook, Salesforce, Twitter, and Airbnb.
“People all over the world are recognizing the shift in coffee leadership,” Konte said. “Choosing Red Bay Coffee is a powerful choice—what we call beautiful coffee to the people.”
Ray Bay Coffee announced last year that it wanted to create a barista training hub in Los Angeles and expansions in Richmond, California. That year, the company won a contract with Oakland International Airport.
The coffee industry generates nearly $28 billion in taxes every year and is responsible for over 1 million of the country’s jobs. Konte wants Black people to be a part of that economic growth, and with this new investment, he’s even closer to making his dream a reality.