Student Entrepreneur Brews Success With Lil’ Rhody Coffee Startup

Lil’ Rhody Coffee Company, founded by Vincent Emery ’26, is making waves in the regional coffee market. Emery, a rising junior and Student Government Association president, founded the company in 2022 while still a senior in high school. The company was profitable within four months, and Emery believes that entrepreneurship allows one to own their destiny. The company uses air roasting, which produces 80 percent less carbon emissions than traditional processes, and has earned a $5,000 grant to further develop its carbon capture roasting technology.

The brand stays true to the Ocean State, with blends labeled Rocky Point, Big Blue Bug, and Federal Hill. Emery’s journey to coffee entrepreneurship began in early childhood, with sips from his family’s stovetop moka pot and an obsession with urban coffee shops. He learned that freshness fosters flavor and uses just-in-time manufacturing to ensure a fast journey from field to customer.

Emery aspires to innovate his industry and grow coffee within the U.S. shores to stabilize supply in uncertain times, but this requires expensive R&D that is likely 20 years off. For now, the growth of the startup is driven by real successes, like a robust holiday season. The company’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is evident in its commitment to producing high-quality coffee.

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