Founder of Tallio’s Coffee & Tea
Established: 2017 | Number of employees: 8
Website: tallioscoffee.com | Instagram: @tallioscoffeeandtea // Facebook: facebook.com/TalliosCoffeeOfficial // LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/tallioscoffeeandtea
“Tallio's Coffee & Tea is on a mission to increase access to high quality coffee and become a staple to historically ethnically diverse communities by strategically placing cafe locations in these communities and providing employment and education opportunities to the people within these communities.”
Why did you decide to start Tallio’s Coffee & Tea?
I noticed that there is a huge absence of quality food choices in historically ethnically diverse communities. After spending the day in affluent communities and being able to have satisfying meals and beverages, I returned to these more diverse communities and realized that I did not have access to those same things. My desire to change this started with establishing a high-quality cafe in the community.
What has been your most impactful interaction with ICA, and why?
Participating in The Lab was a great experience, because I’d never been in an accelerator before. I learned the ins and outs of how to do marketing and how to get a pitch deck ready. Overall, just the fact that I felt like I had a support team—because I’d done all this by myself up to that point—was a huge help. And all the speakers that came in helped quite a bit. You hear advice and input from experts and a lightbulb goes off. That was so helpful.
What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Follow your dream. For some of us, it will be a challenge, but who said that dream would be easy? Don’t give up. Believe in yourself.
How do you envision Tallio’s contributing to a more equitable small business ecosystem?
It’s been difficult recently with the restrictions on indoor dining, but we’ve made sure we’re still out in the community volunteering and helping clean up. That has been one of my commitments from the start—to contribute to the community.
There are all these large corporations that have their diversity programs and funding that helps support marginalized communities. But I don’t see it. You have to really be in the community, and that’s what I want to do with Tallio’s—not just by selling coffee, but by hiring and training. It’s our voices that are going to make these things happen.