Coffee roaster wins grant funding from Courvoisier and National Urban League – The Philadelphia Tribune

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Matthew Nam and Nikisha Bailey are the co-owners of Win Win Coffee Bar. —PHOTO COURTESY OF WIN WIN COFFEE BAR
Nikisha Bailey is the co-owner of Win Win Coffee Bar. —PHOTO COURTESY OF WIN WIN COFFEE BAR
Nikisha Bailey is the co-owner of Win Win Coffee Bar. —PHOTO COURTESY OF WIN WIN

Matthew Nam and Nikisha Bailey are the co-owners of Win Win Coffee Bar. —PHOTO COURTESY OF WIN WIN COFFEE BAR
Nikisha Bailey is the co-owner of Win Win Coffee Bar. —PHOTO COURTESY OF WIN WIN COFFEE BAR
Nikisha Bailey is the co-owner of Win Win Coffee Bar. —PHOTO COURTESY OF WIN WIN
When Nikisha Bailey and Matthew Nam acquired Win Win Coffee Bar in June 2019, they wanted to create an outlet for local creatives.
“It was really like a community space and we were known for that,” Bailey said. “It was just really important to us to show that representation to others, since there are not a lot of Black-owned businesses in Philly — to show people that if we can do it, you can do it.”
Their cafe in Philadelphia’s Callowhill section was a thriving place where people could view art, listen to live music and enjoy coffee or cocktails.
But then the pandemic hit last March and the cafe was closed due to government mandates. The entrepreneurs pivoted to becoming a coffee roaster. Their coffee is a specialty curated dark roast with a milk chocolate finish.
“We are Philadelphia’s first Black woman-led coffee roaster and co-roasting training facility,” said Bailey, who is a St. Louis native.
“I want to get other Black people into roasting coffee because I feel like we don’t have a lot of representation.”
She recently won a $50,000 grant from Maison Courvoisier and the National Urban League to help grow and scale her business.
Bailey was among three finalists who pitched their business live to a panel of judges from Courvoisier and the NUL. During the NUL’s national conference, Courvoisier awarded $200,000 in financial grants to 12 small business owners who were nominated by regional Urban League Entrepreneurship Centers.
“It was incredible,” Bailey said of participating in the pitch competition. “It was honor to be able to tell people what my vision and what our goal is with the brand.”
She and her business partner are using the grant funding to outfit a new space to accommodate their coffee roaster and hire more employees. Bailey hopes to hire more African American women and bridge the gender gap in the coffee industry.
The grant funding is part of Courvoisier’s $1 million financial commitment to Black and minority-owned businesses through its philanthropic platform Foundation 1828.
“Entrepreneurs come in many different forms, from all walks of life and varying income levels. Courvoisier recognizes the importance of nurturing that drive, passion and creativity in these individuals around the globe – especially for those who may have the odds stacked against them,” Jon Potter, managing director of Maison Courvoisier said in a news release.
“Foundation 1828 is designed to unify our mission and make a lasting impact by assessing the critical needs of underserved communities in our key global markets to build authentic programming that will provide long-lasting benefits to entrepreneurs for years to come.”
Win Win Coffee Bar is slated to move from 931 Spring Garden St. to a new location before the end of the year.
“We’ll still have the café element but really the roasting is really what is going to fuel the mission behind of Win Win,” Bailey explained.
“We think we’ve been able to create more opportunity for people if we are able to roast just because it’s such a big and profitable industry. I always say the three C’s — coffee, creativity and community are the things that are important to me.”
Bailey says the most challenging aspect of business ownership is lacking access to capital and resources.
“When my partner and I first started Win Win, we came from the corporate world, so we had decent salaries but neither of us had owned a business before so we didn’t get a bank loan,” said Bailey. “We couldn’t qualify, so we used our own savings to really fuel the business.”
Bailey is an executive at Atlantic Records and Nam has a background in tech.
Bailey spent a significant amount of time researching the coffee industry prior to tapping into roasting.
“Through my research, I saw a lack of minority representation in the coffee industry even though it’s one of the biggest traded commodities in the world,” said Bailey, who is a board member of Women in Music, a nonprofit organization.
“You don’t see a lot of Black people and you don’t see a lot of women.”
She said the unique thing about Win Win Coffee is that they are uniquely diaspora focused and they have been committed to working with other Black business owners.
Bailey and her business partner are currently participating in an Aramark accelerator program, where they are learning about doing wholesale supply sales. Their coffee is sold via https://winwin.coffee and they said they are trying to have it carried by leading retailers such as Target and Whole Foods.
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