This is a cup a tea we’re happy to sip on. Vanessa Braxton, founder of Black Momma Brand which sells vodkas and teas, is taking steps to list her business on the New York Stock Exchange, Black Enterprise reports.
The New York native started Black Momma Vodka in 2013. In 2016, she opened a manufacturing facility, becoming the first African American woman distiller, master blender, and operator of a nationally distributed vodka in the country. She eventually transitioned to making teas, then flavored agaves, and eventually opened several storefronts, becoming the owner of one of the only Black-owned tea and beverage manufacturing facilities.
Now she’s headed to the New York Stock Exchange. Braxton plans to take advantage of a provision in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2012. The JOBS Act helped small businesses secure funding by lessening many of the securities regulations that made it harder for them to receive equal funding as corporations. The legislation also enacted the CROWDFUND ACT, making it possible for companies to use crowdfunding to issue securities.
Braxton started a WeFunder account that garnered over $2.1 million from nearly 3,000 funders, securing the money necessary to take the next steps to listing the Black Momma Tea and Cafe Brand. She also already has over 33,000 customers and has earned $2.9 million in sales.
Braxton plans to open distribution centers in several states. Her storefront in Wheatley Heights, NY will serve as the company’s headquarters and training facility for the almost 300 franchisees interested in partnering with what Braxton calls, “The Starbucks of Tea.” Black Momma’s Tea Cafes plan to serve tea, beverages and other pastries along with desserts infused with Black Momma Vodka. Her goal is to have 500 Black Momma Tea & Cafe locations over the next 5 years.
Congratulations Vanessa! We can’t wait to invest in this thriving business!