Red Bay Coffee Roasters is a black-owned, Oakland-based coffee company with four locations. They also happen to be Facebook’s main coffee supplier at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters. The company’s founder, Keba Konte, recently unveiled a new headquarters in the Fruitvale neighborhood, where he originally started the company out of his home. Red Bay is making another big splash by adding a fifth store in Los Angeles. This company is on the move.
Coffee represents one of the largest commodities in the world, a global industry that is immense in size. Largely, Black and brown people do the work, while others consume and enrich themselves from it. The success of Red Bay, Black coffee farmers and other Black owned retailers is no small deal. Ownership in every aspect coffee industry — farming to retail — is essential for Black people globally, in the fight for economic liberation. Now with locations in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, Red Bay is positioned to literally recycle millions of dollars from people of all colors and classes, into economic development where it is needed most.
Red Bay’s new South LA location will clock in at 11,000 square feet. By comparison, the average standalone Starbucks comes in at between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet. The Los Angeles market is competitive, for sure, but also plentiful with respect to capital and potential customers. Red Bay’s entry into the market is a clear indicator that the company realizes the growth potential there. Further, by extending its footprint into Southern California, Red Bay is primed for statewide expansion and in California, that is meaningful — the state’s economy is larger than that of India and Germany.