Agora, A reinvention of coffee and community space orientated around community desire instead of supply and demand.
We currently own, or should I say we and Bank of America, a building at 668 Union Avenue in Memphis Tennessee.
We are trying to buy our building so we can have greater control over the future of our business. By significantly decreasing our overhead on loan and expenses and our revised business model we can return significant savings on lower costs for positively priced products.
Our building is in a rapidly changing area and surrounded by Universities and Hospitals. .We feel that our current location in the Edge District of Memphis is a building block for success and that our building retains character of a return to a vibrant Downtown from yesterdays past.
Over the last 10 years we have significantly improved our building and reduced our principal significantly. The cost to purchase the building instead of doing a ReFi is quite low considering the area. By eliminating our loan and a few improvements the building will once again be open to the public as a community orientated space and a community driven coffee roaster meeting the demands locally as well as throughout the country via FEDEX hub here in Memphis.
Originally bought in 2005 it housed a restaurant and coffee roasting company. Though the original idea was great, times and a wonderful Recession changed our focus.
Our current plan is to revive our coffee roaster in Memphis and take our approximately 7,500 square feet building and turn it into a temple of Community Driven Desires. For the Coffee Roasting area, which is quite large, we will dramatically change the way coffee is sourced and selected. We will move away from Supply and Demand selection and to a Community Review Selection.
All our coffees will be chosen by majority public selections thereby coffee ordered will be in anticipation of coffee purchased and thereby keeping inventory low or in transit. We intend to develop the building and business around a Coop formula not far removed from the likes of REI. We hope that every contributor to our project will also be a founding member of the governing Coop. By integrating community decision making and Coop membership we can chart a price conservative route that allows great selections of green coffee, community driven retail price and further a return or rebate yearly on yearly purchases.
The focus will be to purchase and roast quality coffee as selected by those individuals most likely to purchase and support great coffee.
Further all packaging, label, art and publicize decision for the products will also be the choice of the community. Further in is our plan to incorporate local or any concerned artist into the development of packaging and labels for coffee and or display for the building. Artist cooperation and involvement is a cornerstone of making Agora a building block of both the business and the building.
We hope that by public and customer decision points that the cost to produce and the cost to deliver will be significantly reduced passing along significant savings.
As an example decisions could be made to determine ways to retail quality coffee in bulk and possibly reduce the cost to package. Packaging is great but if the intended customer does not need splash and bling in a package then the cost to purchase is significantly lowered. The building will become ground zero for production and for community. The building is currently fully equipped as a restaurant and will be returned to that in a very casual setting.
The building will also be utilized as a community kitchen as well as a commissary for people that need facilities like food trucks.
WHERE WE WILL BE:
A Coop is the right way to go and it gives a voice to everyone that wants a voice. What products will be, what products to buy and those products offered to the public will be the responsibility of the Coop. The coffee roaster and how coffee is roasted and what the products can be can be a hands on approach for anyone that wants to get their hands into the beans. The building and the roaster will be a home. The natural attraction to go home will send a shudder through the coffee industry as coffee habits change. Not just buy local but be the local, even if you live in Seattle!
For the structure of a good Coop CLICK HERE for additional information on General Assembly and Board of Directors. For our Coop in additional to Membership and General Assembly and Board of Directors we will establish a Steering and Coordinating Committee for day to day input and guidance of the Coop. All administration positions can be either local or via Video Conference.
For the structure of a good Coop click here for additional information on General Assembly and Board of Directors. For our Coop in additional to Membership and General Assembly and Board of Directors we will establish a Steering and Coordinating Committee for day to day input and guidance of the Coop. All administration positions can be either local or via Video Conference.
While it will be a casual cafe, wholesale and retail coffee roaster and retail store, it will be the site of many special events and activities for our community, clients, friends and supporters. Check out our rewards levels for some exclusive events, we would LOVE to see you there!
About Project Creator:
Frederick Charron and Wayne Newman
Frederick Charron has attended University of Massachusetts, University of Alaska and San Francisco State University.
Wayne Newman has attended Emory University at Atlanta.
We have lived in Atlanta, Anchorage and San Francisco in addition to Memphis.
We have owned since 1986 restaurants and coffee roasting in Anchorage Alaska, Atlanta Georgia, San Francisco California and Memphis Tennessee.
Both highly educated, at least we think so and hard working.
We bought our building at 668 Union Avenue in Memphis in 2005 as a point to relocate from San Francisco when we left San Francisco in 2013. The building was also to serve as a retirement and place to work into our old age.
Currently we are now ready for the building to serve the purpose to which is was purchased. More so we intended for the building and any business or activity from our presence there to be something that the community can profit from in real dollar terms.
Link to the Project: