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Red Bay Coffee: Behind the success of African American owned Starbucks alternative


When two African American men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month while they waited for a meeting, the incident sparked widespread outrage, an apology from the chain, calls for a boycott and a national conversation about racial bias.

Among the alternatives? A growing Oakland-based roastery and cafe, Red Bay Coffee, whose African American founder and CEO, Keba Konte, says he prioritizes diversity in hiring. The company got more exposure after the Starbucks incident when actor Wendell Pierce promoted Red Bay and praised its commitment to the community, prompting tweets from people across the country asking Red Bay to come to their cities.

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