2021 Newsmakers: Arick Davis and Sarah Laman

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Arick Davis and Sarah Laman

Founders

Last Mile Café

Charitable giving and sustainability are at the core of Last Mile Café’s business, founded by Sarah Laman and Arick Davis.

The Black- and woman-owned Grand Rapids coffee brand, once known as Equity Café, became known as Last Mile Café in 2021 and launched its e-commerce platform offering premium coffee blends with giving back at the heart of each brew. Ten percent of every online purchase is donated to a charitable cause, which is chosen by the customer at checkout.

In August, the company offered two coffee blends in its online shop including Reasonable Doubt, a single-origin Ethiopian light roast; and Thank Me Later, a fair-trade decaf medium blend. Last Mile Cafe now also offers The Lost Boy, a medium, dark roast coffee, as well as an option for a coffee subscription. All coffee packaging, labels and shipping supplies are compostable.

“All businesses should prioritize environmental sustainability,” Davis said. “Financial sustainability, good marketing and fancy offices all mean nothing if, as a community, we don’t have an environment that is healthy and prosperous for all people.”

The company encourages customer feedback and is open to discussion of brewing strategies or recommended nonprofit organizations for its charitable giving program.

Products are available online and are sold at equity-focused, locally owned South East Market, and on Saturdays at Fulton Street Farmers Market.

“We believe that bold and creative problem-solving is essential to propelling us into the future of better business. We harness the latest technology to advance our practices,” the owners said.

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