L.A. stories of inspiration and success

L.A. stories of inspiration and success

pictured is a select coffee bean pouch with a yellow glass pitcher atop the Boketto bicycle vending cart
To highlight more black-owned businesses that EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers have assisted, we interviewed Benjamin Westley, owner of Boketto Cold Brew, a sustainable artisan tea and coffee business.

The concept behind Boketto came to be at a time in Westley’s life when he was entering fatherhood and was growing tired of working retail and freelance. Creating Boketto allowed him the opportunity to increase his income while having a flexible schedule to settle into his role as a new father.

Since its inception in 2017, Boketto has catered at various events, serving several flavorful coffees and teas, including Dark Single Ethiopian Cold Brew and a Medium Roast with a Guatemalan and Brazilian Cold Brew blend. Their product line also includes cold brew wellness teas, including hibiscus with natural fruits and herbs, and the best-selling OMG!, an orange, mango, ginger and hibiscus blend tea. These beverages are offered in 12-ounce bottles, 1.5-liter recyclable pouches by subscription, and nitro kegs.

While establishing his business, Westley found he needed funding assistance to help it flourish. So, Westley reached out to the Southeast Los Angeles BusinessSource Center (BSC). The BSC’s Loan Consultant, Ronald Lowe, identified and matched Westley with CDFI lender Inclusive Action for the City, which specializes in lending to micro businesses and street vendors. Lowe guided the entire loan process from start to finish, resulting in loan approval. The funding allowed Westley to purchase a Brew Bomb, one of the leading manufacturers of equipment for cold brew processing.

For the future, Westley aspires to serve more corporate clients, reopen a shop, increase subscriptions to cold brew pouches, and distribute products in stores such as Whole Foods.

EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers offer resources to microenterprises, small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the City of Los Angeles. These efforts work to revitalize the local economy by helping business owners launch viable businesses, grow revenue streams and stabilize to create jobs. Visit EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers and learn how EWDD's Business Services can help businesses of all sizes.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from February 2024. Read this issue and more.