For specialty coffee company Taylor St. Baristas, the crowdfunding cup runneth over. The London-based enterprise is now overfunding on Crowdcube, a leading investment crowdfunding platform, with less than a day left in the campaign.
Taylor St. Baristas’ mini-bond, with an 8 percent interest rate, has raised £1,692,000 of its £1,500,000 target, and has 481 investors to date, according to its Crowdcube page. Bond payments are semi-annual and a £500 minimum is required. Funds are destined for company expansion plans beyond the company’s nine current locations in London and Brighton, as Crowdfund Insider noted last year.
But beyond the usual financial perks of investing in a mini-bond, the company also offers a unique, potentially higher-value investment option: a 12 percent fixed gross per annum in store credit. So, on an investment of £25,000, that would be the equivalent of about 1,300 flat whites a year, writes the Wall Street Journal. Those who invest more than £10,000 will also get a piece of cake and coffee once a week, the publication also notes.
Be forewarned: Taylor St. Baristas’ coffee may leave you cursed with higher standards. “The first time you have a really good coffee can be a bit of a curse,” notes the company’s website. “With one sip, your expectations are radically transformed.” And with “a mere handful of skilled baristas capable of meeting your newly enlightened needs”—one assumes many of them wear Taylor St. Baristas uniforms—”Yours is a wretched plight, indeed.”
The company began when its founders—three Aussie siblings—heard the SOS of London coffee’s forlorn state through the bleakness of winter in 2006. The taste of home—”rich and golden-topped espresso, decadently textured, silky smooth milk, a bit of art on top to finish”—was inspiring and, more recently, drew Richard Shaer, company CEO, from New York, to further grow the business.
Taylor St. Barista’s also puts a number to selecting the best of the best in coffee: 3 percent. Of the 7,800,000,000 tons of green coffee produced globally in a single year, the company only chooses from the top 3 percent. Taylor St. Baristas also supports a Direct Trade trading model, in which longer-term relationships are established with farmers, assuring them that they will receive a fair price for the additional labor and required expertise for producing their coffee.
Keep your eyes peeled, perhaps with the help of a cuppa, for the upcoming 21 Taylor St. Baristas outlets in London. Caffeine, it seems, even fuels crowdfunding campaigns.
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