Coming hot off winning Notable Roaster at the 15th annual Sprudgie Awards, Memphis, Tennessee’s Cxffeeblack is a brand on the rise, and they have been for a while. We’ve kept an eye on their trajectory for some time, from their sharp merchandise and sneaker collabs to their documentary and ambitious Barista Exchange program that sent four America coffee professionals to Ethiopia and will soon bring four African baristas to train in America.

At every step Cxffeeblack has blazed their own trail to success. And even now as they take a more traditional growth trajectory—opening the first Cxffeeblack brick and mortar location—they are sticking to their community-focused mission. They have taken to crowdfunding to help get their coffee shop off the ground, and are offering equity to anyone who invests.

Eschewing traditional fundraising sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, Cxffeeblack has instead opted for WeFunder, a crowdfunding site that allows for investors to get more than products or thank yous, but actual equity in the brand they are helping to bring to fruition. For Cxffeeblack’s co-founder and CEO Bartholomew Jones, it goes part and parcel with the brand’s mission.

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“WeFunder allows our community to hold an equity stake in our business and our goal has always been to make coffee Black again, to return the equity that I believe the equity our community has deserved,” Jones tells Sprudge. “They’ve already been supporting us for the last four years, and now they have the opportunity to enjoy the fruit of their labor by becoming more than just metaphorical partners, but real partners with us.”

The new location will serve as the brand’s home base, housing both a cafe and a roasting space. It will be located in the Mitchell Heights neighborhood on Memphis’s eastside, an area currently without a large coffee shop presence. Expected to open in September, the new space will be the home of the second phase of the Barista Exchange program.

The new location represents a transition of sorts for Cxffeeblack The brand does currently have one outpost, the Anti-Gentrification Coffee Club, but the new space offers a chance for Cxffeeblack to broaden their scope. “The AGCC as it currently stands has been the community living room, but as we’re moving into our new space it’s becoming the community dining room,” states co-founder and COO Renata Henderson. “Thinking about the amount of formality that you get to drop when you are invited to the table. You get to be taken to a different space that is more accommodating to you as a human.”

As of publicadtion, the Cxffeeblack WeFunder is nearing the $70,000 mark, and the early bird investment terms are available for the first $100,000 committed. Inquiries about investment terms can be directed to For more information about the campaign, visit Cxffeeblack’s WeFunder page.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.