You probably haven’t heard much from us as late, but that doesn’t mean we’ve disappeared! It just means that we’re deep in all the drudging work of starting a business! Yuck!
Here’s some themes of what the collective has been up to:
- Expanding & Contracting – Since our first public meeting, we’ve grown from just 3 friends to a crew of about 10, who have been helping out the project regularly. At the same time as we expand our circle of friends and members, we’ve had to focus on narrowing down who is ready and able to be the first small crew of worker owners. We wish we could employ everyone in the city right off away, but even Giant Sequoias start as small seeds.
- Creating a Business Plan – in order to apply to lease the Olive Way space, we created a Business Plan to explain why we know Black Coffee will be (financially) successful. The property manager told us it was very “professional”
- Securing Donations & Loans - we’ve been building out a fundraising plan and starting to secure the financial resources we need to start. Initially we are relying entirely on donations and loans from members of our community, managed by a local credit union. We will also be holding other types of fundraisers, such as a benefit concert. Keep your eye on our website or social media accounts for details. Can you help us with a donation?
- Gathering Equipment & Skills – It takes a lot of stuff and skillsto open a coffee shop. We’ve been on the look out for anything we can get used or salvaged, so that starting this company doesn’t mean producing a bunch of crap. If you know of any free or cheap cafe equipment or supplies, or if you or a friend has technical skills to share (plumbing, electrical work, carpentry), please contact us!
Here’s what to look forward to in the coming months!
- Grand opening! We’re shooting for somewhere around August/September.
- Weekly cooperative meetings – once we have a space of our own, it will be much easier to plan regular (and hopefully more accessible) meetings. We’ll be posting our regular meeting times once they are decided.
- Monthly public meetings – don’t have time to be closely involved with the cooperative, but want to hear what’s going on and share your thoughts? Once we secure a space, we’ll start having meetings for the public about once a month. This will also help us learn how we can best serve the neighborhood we’re in.