Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 15, 2023

Briefs: Mad Priest bringing $444-per-pound Yemeni coffee to Chattanooga

Mad Priest Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee roasting company, made history on Aug. 8 with the highest bid ever in a global Cup of Excellence coffee auction – $444 per pound for a lot of Yemeni coffee.

“It’s a story of David and Goliath – small business versus big business,” says Mad Coffee owner Michael Rice. “Look at what a small business can do to help raise the level of excellence and opportunity in an industry like the global coffee industry.”

Rice says Mad Priest wants to tell the story of Yemen, its history and the current humanitarian crisis.

“Not many people know this, but Yemen was the first and only free cultivator of coffee. Although Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, Yemen was the first place that commercialized coffee and created cafes,” Rice points out.

“The coffee is no doubt delicious, but this is not about one lot of coffee; it’s about a rich history of coffee in Yemen and economically empowering a group of people who have been riddled with war.”

The lot comes from 60-year-old Muhammad Zidan, whose family has been farming coffee for generations. To Zidan, today’s challenges, including transparency with suppliers and lack of capital and a reliable public infrastructure – including roads and drainage systems – are difficult systemic issues to solve.

Zidan wants those who taste his coffee to know it’s pure and natural. “The coffee we grow has been taken care of every step of the way. It is a labor of love,” he says.

Gathering of Angels moves to Chattanooga

Investment matchmaker The Gathering of Angels has relocated its headquarters from Atlanta to Chattanooga. The 26-year-old organization pairs accredited angel investors with young companies seeking seed and early-stage capital.

“We’re looking forward to presenting investable business ventures from throughout the U.S. to qualified investors in the Tennessee and Georgia area,” says Tarby Bryant, founder of GOA.

Operating nationally, GOA has facilitated more than 450 capital fundings ranging from $20,000 to $12.5 million. Recent GOA fundings have included investments ranging from $25,000 to $400,000.

Bryant is a longtime angel investor and aggregator of venture capital. He is a recognized speaker on angel investing and is the author of “Entrepreneurs Guide to Raising Capital from Angel Investors.” Bryant is also former chairman of the National Automobile Association and a former CEO of Invest Atlanta.

To be considered as a potential GOA presenter, contact Bryant at 404 606-2193 or tarbycbryant@gmail.com, or register at www.gatheringofangels.com.