Founder Kymme Williams started Bushwick Grind with her husband, Raymond, in 2015 after they attended the American Barista Coffee School in Portland, Oregon the prior year. Growing up, Kymme visited her grandmother in Brooklyn. Remembering the lack of local coffee shops, she imagined a venue where the community could connect. Thus, Bushwick Grind was born. The cafe’s principles of equality, community, healthfulness, diversity and fairness guide everything from the coffee beans which are fair-trade to the healthful menu options, to the community refrigerator which sits outside and is refilled each day. With a vision to locally farm the cafe’s produce, Kymme also launched an IFundWomen crowdfunding campaign to help fund her goal.
In 2019, Kymme met with Pace SBDC business advisor Rawle Brown, who helped her apply for W/MBE (NYC) certification and develop a Capability Statement to attract business from government and educational institutions. When COVID-19 temporarily shut Bushwick Grind, Kymme creatively offered the café space and retail shelves as a pop-up for other small businesses. In 2021, the business won a New York City government contract to make 100 meals a day for vaccination sites. She now helps three sites. Again, Kymme met with Rawle Brown as well as Business Advisor Susan Gluck to discuss funding options as well as to brainstorm on strategies for building local awareness and walk-in business. In further support of this effort the advisors arranged for student groups from Pace University's Lubin School of Business Advanced Marketing Management course (led by Professor Mary Long) to assess and develop customer acquisition recommendations for Bushwick Grind. The marketing data and ideas the students provided will benefit Bushwick Grind’s post-COVID revenue streams, most notably the café, retail shelves, and catering, as well as the local farming campaign. Pace SBDC is happy to share Bushwick Grind’s successes, including its recent Fox 5 News feature.
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