Total loan: $9,500
Portland, OR, United States / Food
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A loan helped support a Black woman-owned business that is helping change the vision of coffee roasting.
My husband, Martyn, and I met 14 years ago at a party with a bunch of coffee industry people. I worked for years in coffee as a barista and manager for some of the most prestigious cafes in Portland and New York. Martyn, during that same time, was roasting and managing the backend of coffee businesses. We rarely saw people who looked like me on staff, let alone as the roaster or business owner. So together we started Top Cup just months before the pandemic hit in the winter of 2020. Our desire to start an online subscription coffee business could still happen but growing into our own roasting facility, and retail shop would have to wait a little while longer. Martyn and I continued building the online business, working our full-time jobs, and finally, after 13 years together, got hitched. All of these acts were a revolution for us against the events of both the pandemic and the injustices that were highlighted in the Spring of 2020. With these events, we decided to transform Top Cup Roasters into a business with me as the face and roaster of Top Cup. This was our chance to finally showcase the work of people like myself in the coffee industry and to build a legacy by sharing a different narrative about Black women as roasters and owners. With his many years as a roaster, green coffee purchaser, and all-around Ops, Martyn has spent the last year mentoring and educating me on all aspects of roasting and maintaining operations of a roasting facility. Now we find ourselves on the brink of something radical; fulfilling our plan of creating our roastery and retail space that is rooted in community, learning, and great taste. And we can do it with a little investment from you.