2023 Making It In Michigan Young Innovator Award: Last Mile Cafe
April 20, 2023
We started last mile Cafe because Sarah and I were both doing work and like non-profit and technology. And we wanted to work for a company that we were excited to work for it. And we thought coffee was a great place to start with that. I think email as a commodity coffee has this beautiful story. It comes from all over the world. And we saw an opportunity to really make the coffee experience more diverse and inclusive. It took a lot of help from the community, this build-out and took us about a year. We did a crowdfunding campaign last February to help cover some of the groundbreaking costs on the building. And we've just had support the whole way to get this place up and running. It was not used for about 30 years, so we really got our work cut out for us. So for us, last-mile cafe sort of came to be because we really wanted to build a business that was doing right by the community, right by our employees, right for the environment. And a lot of those decisions just sort of reminded us of the last-mile of a race. And they're hard to citizens. It's kind of a high-stakes time. And that's what brought them to life. He's the biggest thing was as was trying to make it an inclusive and welcoming space. Now there's a bunch of different flavors and varieties of coffee shops. And we wanted this to be a place where people felt welcomed, but they also felt appreciate it. Every time I come in in the morning, it seems like multiple people know each other on accident. There's just this cool effect I feel like in part because the neighborhood we're in and the community we've built where it just seems like a place where people come in and they're starting to know each other, which is just really cool. I think that's just a sign that we've, we've built a really strong foundation and a good community and they've just been really supportive the whole time. This cafe was what this community need it. We don't have any sort of desire to have a last mile cafe on every corner. We do want it to be accessible. People have anywhere south. When whenever we do open the e-mail and additional location, I think it'll be something special for that community. Where it is this community hub where people can come in, build these organic relations of the sara talking about and really build proud of the thing that's in their neighborhood. My name is Eric Davis, My name is Sarah Lehman. We're so excited to receive the young Innovator Award for the 2023, making it in Michigan Conference and trade show. Thank you. And Michigan State University Extension and the MSU product center.