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The Sepia Coffee Project

Uplifting Communities through Coffee

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Security Type
Common Stock
Consumer Goods & Products, Retail, Community & Lifestyle, Food & Beverage
Min Investment
Detroit, MI
Expected Close Date
April 29, 2024
Target Raise
No. Investors
Security Price
Number of Employees
Short Term Debt
Cost of Goods
Long Term Debt
Net Income

Company Description

The Sepia Coffee Project (SCP) is a minority-owned roaster in Highland Park that seeks to generate an evolution of coffee through collective investment. Founded with the intent to create inroads to equitable opportunity, inclusion, and community.

The company plans to open its first brick-and-mortar coffee shop in Highland Park with a full espresso bar, pre-packed foods, and offering both coffee and equipment for business and home use. Highland Park residents have limited access to quality goods and services including coffee shops. Building this in Highland Park would promote revitalizing an underdeveloped neighborhood, creating jobs in multiple sectors including manufacturing(roasting), retail(baristas, sales reps), and logistics(shipping). The company’s mission is to make specialty coffee more accessible to underserved communities which will fuel opportunities, creating platforms that are more inclusive and equitable for coffee consumers and industry peers. 

The company does not offer a unique product, however, it has considerable traction. The company’s business model has majorly focused on B2B - offering bulk coffee to coffee shops, restaurants, and specialty markets. The average amount of each order is projected as $10.65 and $250 for retail and wholesale respectively in 2023. The number of transactions projected is 6,500 and 420 for retail and wholesale in 2023. 

With an extensive network of partners, SPC has made great strides within its first year securing over 20 wholesale accounts with standing orders averaging 100 kg(220lb) of roasted coffee per month. 2023 projections show a 400% increase in volume by the end of the year as it scales up its business to meet market demand. In addition to wholesale, the company has gained significant traction within the B2C market as online and retail sales have increased. It had a gross margin of 59% in 2022 and will soon reach operational breakeven.

Key Deal Facts

Minority-owned coffee roastery opening the FIRST specialty coffee shop in Highland Park, MI Offering EARLY BIRD investors a 2x return with projected repayment in 4 years (not guaranteed) 20+ wholesale accounts and a successful launch of a RTD (ready to drink) cold coffee Raising capital to build our first retail location, $700k projected revenue in 2024 (not guaranteed) Martell (CEO) was born and raised in Highland Park and has 15 years of experience in coffee industry Helping to revitalize our neighborhood by bringing ethically sourced coffee to the people

Use of Proceeds

The company plans to use the proceeds towards inventory, operational costs, equipment upgrades, build-out fees, Wefunder platform fees, and the remaining towards working capital.

Management Team / Advisory Board Bios

The company has a good management team.

Martell Mason, CEO, Roaster-In-Chief
Martell Mason is the CEO and Head Roaster of the Sepia Coffee Project. A native of Highland Park, he has over 15 years of experience in the coffee industry working throughout North America, Asia, East Africa, and Europe. He completed a BA in International Affairs and graduate work specializing in Sustainable Development. He continues to find ways to bridge the gap from "farm to cup" while ensuring there is greater representation of black and brown folks along the coffee value chain. Martell returned to the US in 2021 and saw an opportunity to be of service to a young, yet vibrant coffee community in Metro Detroit. His mission to make specialty coffee more accessible to underserved communities has fueled opportunities to create more inclusive and equitable platforms for coffee consumers and industry peers. 

Maria Hernaez, Co-founder, Sales(New England)
Maria has over 20 years of experience in high-end retail, banking, and real estate from New England to California. She is an alum of Northeastern. This is her first startup.

Kevin Keefe, Co-founder, Sales(DC, Maryland, Virginia)
Kevin has 30+ years working with the Dept. of Justice & Defense and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He loves the arts and is affiliated with the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts(CAAPA). This is his first startup. 

Valuation Notes

The company is raising funds through Revenue Based Loan Financing. The company plans to raise investment in two rounds. The investors will receive 1.5x their principal in 4 years (targeted). SPC will use 10% of its gross revenues to pay back the principal on the notes. This kind of fundraising method is a safer investment alternative with a good risk-reward ratio for this company.

Amount Raised : $148,050
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Security Description

Common stock is a security that represents ownership in a corporation.

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