BrewBike's 100,000th Cup
BrewBike started out in 2015 on Northwestern University’s campus with a bike, kegs of cold brew, and a dream. This dream included a vision of having a coffee shop offering delicious coffee that fits into busy student’s lifestyles, all while being run by students for students. What started as just one bike on one campus has evolved into the thriving business BrewBike is today. This start-up’s meteoric rise has caught the attention of both students and investors. BrewBike’s first round of start-up money came from $10,000 that was raised by roughly a hundred generous backers in an Indiegogo campaign. In 2018, a seed round for BrewBike raised $800,000 from local Chicago investors. The latest round of investors garnered 2 million dollars in seed funding, including the former chairman of both McDonald’s ventures and Chipotle, Mats Lederhausen, as well as other angel investors. The company also announced a major milestone this past November: selling its 100,000th cup of coffee.
BrewBike currently operates at Northwestern University, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, and the University of Miami and is currently looking to expand to more campuses nationwide. BrewBike CEO Randy Paris has big dreams for BrewBike’s growth, speaking of the company’s “Bigger ambitions” to continue to grow and develop. He states that the company’s ultimate goal is “to make BrewBike not only the best coffee you can get on a college campus but the most convenient coffee as well”. Part of this effort includes the launch of an online direct to consumer store. This model allows for BrewBike to connect directly to customers to be able to provide them with the best coffee in the most convenient method.
The online store carries a variety of coffee products including whole beans, cold brew sachets in an assortment of flavors, and mugs. The online store also has apparel made in collaboration with local Chicago artist Sabrina Siegel and Northwestern’s premier fashion magazine, Stitch. The collaboration with Stitch directly benefits the student organization, with 15% of proceeds going to support this student-run fashion magazine, keeping true to BrewBike’s mission of being run for students by students. Since its conception, BrewBike has employed over a hundred student employees and paid student workers over $150,000 in wages. BrewBike has also started an affiliate program, in which students can earn commission through online purchases made through their link, allowing students to continue to help support themselves even when BrewBike has been unable to physically operate due to Covid-19. Where this coffee start-up will head next is unclear, but two things are certain. First and foremost, they will continue to put their students first and help them achieve great things. Secondly, there will be delicious coffee and a series of happy customers.