Meet Vanessa Braxton, best known as the founder of Black Momma Vodka. But now she has another venture brewing up. She just took over three storefronts in a New York shopping plaza to open Black Momma Tea & Cafe, a restaurant that will serve 160 different blends of tea, 3 flavored agaves and other vegan and organic food items such as muffins and wraps.
Opening in 2020 and located on Colonial Springs Road in Wheatley Heights, NY, Braxton’s goal is to become the Starbucks of the tea industry. And the cafe is already creating quite a stir especially because of it’s bold and very eye-catching name. But it’s an attention grabber, and it fits well with the local population which is about 60% Black and Latino.
When asked why she chose this particular shopping center to launch her first restaurant, she told Newsday, “I have plenty of places I could go, but I wanted to take the opportunity for people who look like me to see what I’m doing for the community so that they can step up and do the same thing.”
More Than Just a Restaurant
Braxton’s cafe will also serve as her company’s headquarters and training facility for her 300 interested franchisees. The cafe will also have meeting rooms available for members of the community to use, and will host free workshops and classes about technology, investing, and business.
Braxton, who is 50-years old, is not new to entrepreneurship. She started her vodka brand, Black Momma Vodka, in 2013 and opened her manufacturing facility three years later in 2016. Since then, she has developed business transactions with more than 33,000 online and wholesale customers and has generated almost $3 million in sales.
Launching Black Momma Tea & Cafe is just another stepping stone towards building her already existing multi-million dollar empire
How She Raised the Funds
Raising capital is always a challenge, especially for Black women entrepreneurs. But Braxton was able to successfully raise the funding she needed through Wefunder, an equity crowdfunding site similar to KickStarter and GoFundMe. To date, she has garnered investments of more than $1 million.
But she’s not stopping there. Next year, she is also planning to go public by listing her company on the New York Stock Exchange.
Those who are interested in investment and franchise opportunities should visit https://wefunder.com/blackmommateacafe.