What do you do? 

I created a business called Better with a Cup of Coffee, a virtual cafe. It's a place where people can inspire or be inspired by stories of moments made special by coffee. Coffee lovers can read, share, comment on stories with other like minded people all over the world. You can even shop for coffee lover goodies that focus on experiences that are made special by coffee. 

What inspired you to start your business? 

My love of coffee blossomed when I lived in Los Angeles, CA for 12 years, and I frequented this little neighborhood cafe called Kings Road Cafe. I thought that they had the best coffee beans and the strongest cup of coffee in the whole city. I loved how every cup of coffee was made fresh for every customer, called a single origin. Each cup was made from a large espresso-like machine, but instead of getting a small espresso, you got a large cup of coffee. 

For a longtime, Kings Road's coffee was all I would drink. I was either buying their beans and french pressing my own coffee at home, or stopping by the cafe and grabbing a cup to go. My love of coffee started from my Kings Road experiences. One morning while I was having a cup, I started drawing little caricatures with coffee sayings, but something about that didn't quite resonate with me. I felt that I was onto an interesting idea, but there was a piece of the puzzle missing, until I moved back to North Carolina.

In 2015, I decided to leave LA and move back home to Greensboro, NC to take care of my dad, aka. Dougie Fresh and my brother, Joshman. It was time to move back and take care of my responsibilities, the men in my life. I developed a routine of having coffee with my dad every morning. Mornings where the sun began to rise and the birds sang their songs. Coffee brought us together without anything planned or staged. We would often spoke about my late mother, sometimes crying, but most times we laughed. It was that father-daughter time that was...PRICELESS! It was my time to learn and appreciate where I had come from and where I was going. I loved listening and learning more about how my dad grew up, and I tirelessly digested his gardening advice, which he learned from his father, who learned from his father. That generational wealth of knowledge was soaked up like a sponge. 

That's when it hit me! My LA coffee days had planted the seed, but it wasn't until those special talks with my dad that made me realize how much I, and I think many of us, connect emotionally satisfying moments to coffee. That's when the idea of Better with a Cup of Coffee being a virtual cafe was born.

You see, coffee brings people together and so does Better with a Cup of Coffee. In every corner of the world we wake up to the smell of it, we take breaks for it, socialize with it, and more. I want to create a place for the coffee lover who can relate, who wants to share, to inspire, or to be inspired from experiences made richer by coffee.

What's special about your business? 

Instead of Better with a Cup of Coffee being a regular brick and mortar type business, it's special because of it being a virtual cafe. It provides a comfortable and safe environment for anyone, a place for conversations with people all around the world, learning about other cultures, shopping for gifts, postings of stories, and giving anyone a chance to share their special moments.

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner? 

The high points of owning a business is being able to touch people's lives in a positive manner, and having a great team behind me that supports me with whatever I need. 

As far as the low moments, I try to use the disappointments of people not believing in me and my vision as fuel to work harder, longer, and smarter. It's challenging at times trying to get people to see what you see about your business. That's when negativity has to be quickly turned into positive thoughts, which contribute to positive actions, and positive actions help me to reach my goals.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner? 

The first thing that I've learned from being a business owner is that there is no "i" in TEAM. I will always need help. This is the main reason why I reached out to SCORE. I've learned to ask for help before I get overwhelmed with a project. I have a lot of responsibilities in my life from taking care of my dad's household, to taking care of my household, to being an entrepreneur. So, I try to take one task at a time, which helps me to balance my responsibilities with life's possibilities.

What is your relationship with SCORE? 
SCORE client
What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

I realized that I needed help with my business. I have attempted many businesses in the past, and they never got off the ground until now because I reached out to SCORE. I needed a team of people to help in areas that I knew nothing about, such as marketing, product pricing, and more. The best thing about working with SCORE is that they have provided me with so many free resources. That has been a blessing.

What's great about my mentor? 

The best thing about each of my mentors is that they believe in me, and they are constantly calling me to ask if there is anything that I need. We have regular Zoom meetings, face to face meetings, and phone calls to set goals,or to discuss new ideas.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

Once you have your idea, create a team to help you. If you look at many professions such as ones in sports, business, music, or acting to name a few, not one professional in those professions becomes successful without a team behind them, helping them navigate through the highs and the lows. That's why I would recommend SCORE to anyone wanting to start a small business. You have seasoned and successful business people to help you for free. You can't beat that!

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE? 

Once you have your idea, create a team to help you. If you look at many professions such as ones in sports, business, music, or acting to name a few, not one professional in those professions becomes successful without a team behind them, helping them navigate through the highs and the lows. That's why I would recommend SCORE to anyone wanting to start a small business. You have seasoned and successful business people to help you for free. You can't beat that!

"Savor Every Delicious Experience"