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Red Bay Coffee

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Black-Owned Coffee Retailer Sees a 350 Percent Spike in Sales After Being Forced to Close its Doors 

Founder of Red Bay Coffee, Keba Konte , is no newbie to innovation. In 2014, the San Francisco native combined his passion for photographic journalism and coffee to create a Coffee Dojo that simultaneously served as the headquarters of Red Bay Coffee and a daily art exhibit that showcased his photography. With such creative ingenuity, it’s no surprise that Konte honed his entrepreneurial acumen when the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard. Due to coronavirus, Forbes reports Red Bay Coffee’s retail stores had to shut down resulting in an 85 percent decline in sales and a drastic reduction in his workforce. Now, that some of his six retail locations are reopened, he says the decline is only about 40 percent. However, according to Forbes , the Oakland, California coffee hub has seen a 350 percent increase in e-commerce sales since the start of the pandemic. Before the stay-at-home regulations, Red Bay Coffee’s supermarket sales from Whole Foods and Safeway made up 17 percent of overall sales....

May 11, 2020

Red Bay Coffee Secures Series A Funding Round led by Richelieu Dennis and David Drummond

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...

Feb 22, 2019