Senator Nancy Skinner Recognizes Red Bay Coffee as Small Business of the Year
State Senator Nancy Skinner honored Oakland’s Red Bay Coffee as small business of the year at the California Small Business Day Awards luncheon, Monday in in Sacramento.
The award and event are sponsored by the California Small Business Association, in recognition of the important contributions small businesses make throughout the state.
Red Bay Coffee was founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, a well-known local artist and successful food entrepreneur, who also co-founded North Berkeley’s Guerilla Café.
Among Red Bay’s values is “envisioning a world in which coffee is a vehicle for inclusion, social and economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, innovation, and environmental sustainability.”
Utilizing a profit-sharing model, Red Bay Coffee’s 21 employees all own part of the company.
“Red Bay Coffee pays a living wage, empowers its employees and practices community service– as well as serving phenomenal coffee,” said Senator Skinner. “But most of all Keba deserves this honor for being steadfast in hiring those with disabilities and our formerly incarcerated who are so often turned away,” she said.
Red Bay Coffee has multiple locations in Oakland, including their roasting facility in East Oakland and their “coffee box” in Uptown, which is constructed from a former shipping container.
Red Bay Coffee sells 11 varietals of coffee beans at 50 coffee shops throughout the Bay Area. Their coffee can also be found at the Sunday Jack London Square and Saturday Berkeley farmer’s markets.
“My philosophy is more than a great cup of coffee,” said Keba Konte. “We seek to have an even greater impact on our economy. It’s about using coffee to uplift our people.”