this-black-woman-owned-coffee-brand-that-pushes-black-and-lgbtq-history-has-landed-in-target-and-more-–-blavity

This Black Woman-Owned Coffee Brand That Pushes Black And LGBTQ History Has Landed In Target And More – Blavity

A fairly new Black-owned coffee brand is soaring to the top by infusing Black history into its brand.

In a short amount of time, Jessica Taylor, the founder of Ezra Coffee, has made waves in the coffee industry. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, after launching her “ethically sourced” business, the entrepreneur successfully landed her brand on Target and Amazon’s sites, along with the shelves of over 40 H-E-B locations, which serve families all over Texas and Mexico.

When Taylor’s sister, Victoria, discovered she was lactose intolerant and had an allergy to soy and nuts, the entrepreneur set out to find a solution that would allow Victoria to continue drinking her cup of joe since they’re coffee lovers. Unknown to her and the rest of the world, a pandemic was on the horizon.

Taylor, who at the time was working from home, had purchased a coffee roaster, but it would be a while before it would arrive due to shipping delays. This delay prompted Taylor to get in the kitchen and make her brew by roasting beans in a cast iron skillet on her stove. Keeping her sister in mind, she started testing different spices and flavors to create a coffee so tasty that creamer wasn’t needed, which led to Ezra Coffee.

“We’re really trying to get folks back to drinking coffee black,” Taylor told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But that’s not all: Taylor took it one step further by incorporating and honoring prominent Black figures into her product and marketing.

“The coffee blend names open the door for conversation,” she said.

Taylor is also committed to ensuring that her Dallas-based company pays it forward, so a portion of the profits goes toward scholarships for college students.

Taylor was able to scale her business so quickly thanks to accelerator programs and grant funding. In 2021, she applied to and earned a coveted spot in Target’s eight-week accelerator program, Target Forward Founders. Toward the end of the program, Target wanted to add her coffee line to its product list.

Afterward, Taylor threw her hat in the ring in H-E-B’s Quest for the Best competition. Though she ultimately lost, she still emerged as a winner because she intrigued a buyer with whom she ended up collaborating to improve her packaging.

“We did all new packaging,” Taylor said. “Had I not manifested that, I never would have known.”

Several months later, Ezra Coffee was available for purchase in H-E-B. locations.

Going forward, Taylor’s goal is to expand her coffee empire to be able to reach more consumers nationwide.

“We’re small, but we’re scrappy,” she said.

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