Industrious members have long relied on the coffee at their locations being plentiful, fresh, and craft.

Today, they can use another adjective to describe their daily caffeine boost: inclusive. Industrious recently launched an initiative to help build more inclusive communities by supporting minority-owned roasting companies through its purchasing power. As a result, Industrious members throughout the country are able to sample single-origin brews and blends from minority-owned roasters based in different parts of the country this year.

One of these roasters is Red Bay Coffee Company, an artisanal coffee company based in Oakland, California, whose craft brews recently earned three medals at Golden Bean North America, the world’s largest coffee roasting competition. Learn more about the company and it’s award-winning roasts below.

Red Bay Coffee Company will be available at Industrious locations throughout the country this year. (Aspen Jeanné Photography)

Tell us about your company. How did it get started?

Red Bay Coffee Company was founded … by Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in the specialty coffee industry. His artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries locally and internationally.

Keba’s coffee journey began when he opened Guerilla Café in Berkeley, California, in 2006, the first wholesale account for Blue Bottle Coffee. He then founded Chasing Lions Café in San Francisco in 2012 and, in 2014, he started roasting his own coffee in his garden [as] “Coffee Dojo,” which was the launching site for Red Bay Coffee Company. Through his work he strives to be inclusive of those who have traditionally been left out of the specialty coffee industry, especially people of color, the formerly incarcerated, women, and people with disabilities.

Where do you source your beans from?

From seed to cup, Red Bay Coffee Company is devoted to sourcing, developing, roasting, and delivering the best and most beautiful coffee to the people. We are dedicated to building genuine relationships with the farmers and cooperatives that harvest and process the highest-quality coffees in the world.

A latte made at Red Bay Coffee Company. (Nye Lyn Tho)

How do you approach roasting and roast types (light, medium, dark)?

We meticulously roast small batches to bring out the richness and complexity of flavor in each coffee we serve .… We are committed to providing the highest-quality coffees by personally selecting, sourcing, roasting and delivering fresh roasted coffee within 48 hours of roasting to our wholesale partners, select cafés and grocery stores, or directly to customers’ doorsteps.

What sets your coffee apart?

Red Bay is certified B Corp which means, as a for-profit company, certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency .… We are also passionately devoted to creating a world in which coffee is a vehicle for inclusion, social and economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, innovation, and environmental sustainability.

Red Bay Coffee Company is at the forefront of what we believe is the fourth wave of coffee—a firm commitment to ensure coffee production is not only high-quality and sustainable, but [also] a vehicle for social and economic empowerment.

Roasting up a batch at Red Bay Coffee Company. (Nye Lyn Tho)

How do you feel coffee connects us or plays a role in a sense of community?

Every day we strive to develop beautiful coffees, fair relations, and nurture a passionate approach to living. We focus on creating opportunities within the community at large while fostering direct relationships with coffee farmers around the globe. We believe in the creation of a value chain emphasizing ethics and diversity, not just supply and demand. We see coffee as a vehicle for economic empowerment by hiring the formerly incarcerated, people of color and the disabled, and employing innovative profit-sharing programs throughout our company .… We also seek to share our knowledge of coffee with our customers and wholesale partners through community events, engaging workshops, and storytelling.