North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University graduate Marcia Cox is paying it forward to another college campus.

Cox, 23, is the co-founder of Kaldi’s Coffee House and Roastery, a Charlotte, NC, business that opened in January 2024, as reported by WTVD-11. Before going out on her own, Cox had worked as a Starbucks barista while in high school and college and excelled at her job duties while fostering customer relationships, an Instagram post mentions.

She runs Kaldi’s with her father, Marcus, who has an extensive background spanning over 25 years in sectors such as banking, pet retail, and coffee. He has also served as a Starbucks regional operations coach for the Midwest region, based on the Instagram post.

Kaldi’s Coffee House and Roastery sells apparel, tea, baked goods such as cookies, and specialty-roasted coffee with Cox sourcing the coffee beans from Ethiopia and handling the roasting process herself, per WTVD-11.

Beyond serving customers, the company has decided to give back through a signature coffee line to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their legacy. She is starting with a custom blend for Saint Augustine University in Raleigh, NC. 

“This coffee line will raise awareness and help support HBCUs financially. I’m excited to say specifically for Saint Augustine, 30% of the 1867 Brew will go directly to their Falcon Pride Initiative Fund,” Cox wrote on Instagram.

According to WRAL News, the university was put on probation for its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in December 2023 due to financial troubles. Since that time, its appeal was denied, and the university is pursuing arbitration to resolve the matter. Cox heard about the unfortunate news and wanted to help however she could.

“It could really be any one of our HBCUs,” Cox told WTVD-11. “A lot of them sometimes are just one moment away from going through anything. As an HBCU family, we should be helping each other out as much as we can because of the important legacy and history of HBCUs.”

Saint Augustine University’s Falcon Pride Initiative is a fundraising campaign created to increase financial stability, garner support for preserving its accreditation, and rally “internal stakeholders, alums, friends, neighbors, and the HBCU community,” according to a news release.

The fundraising goal of the institution’s initiative is $5 million.