Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in International Business

Degree Level





Amerine, Jeff


Refuge Coffee will be the premier vendor of high-quality and sustainably sourced specialty coffee in Springdale, Arkansas. Its mission is to improve lives by providing a space that reflects the community—a space in which ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and values can be exchanged, with coffee acting as a common denominator. Refuge Coffee will offer specialty coffee beverages, locally baked goods, and merchandise to consumers. We intend to partner with Canopy NWA, a refugee resettlement organization that aims to welcome and equip refugees with all they need to build new lives, through the means of employment for refugees and the continuous donation of a portion of our profits.

Refuge Coffee will be located at 204 East Emma Avenue in downtown Springdale—a section of the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area that has seen increasing levels of revitalization in recent years. Developments such as Emma Avenue streetscape improvements, the Luther George Park expansion and renovation, and The Jones Center campus renovation have been intended to attract the nearly 80,000 residents of Springdale to the downtown area. Refuge Coffee will operate in the rented 1,512 square foot space of the 204 East Emma Avenue mixed-use building. The space will feature polished concrete floors and neutral tones throughout to cultivate an environment that is conducive to working, studying, or meeting.

Our primary target market will be residents ages 18 - 35 in Springdale, Arkansas. We expect our early adopters to consist of residents in this age range who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher. This age range is more likely to frequent coffee shops than older generations. Refuge Coffee will utilize a social media manager to create and promote content to attract this market. We expect to build a repeat customer base from the growing number of young professionals working or living on Emma Avenue.

Refuge Coffee will draw its competitive advantage from a combination of its interior atmosphere and relationship with Canopy NWA. Direct competitors to Refuge Coffee lack an environment that is tailored to customers who desire an undisturbed space in which they can work or study. Refuge Coffee’s abundance of seating and calm atmosphere will meet this need. Furthermore, these competitors lack involvement in a type of social responsibility practice that is similar to our relationship with Canopy NWA.

Refuge Coffee will source its coffee and baked goods from local roasters and bakeries, respectively. These providers include Onyx Coffee Lab, Arsaga’s Coffee Roasters, Confident Coffee Roasters, Little Bread Company, The Food Conservancy, and Golden Kolache Bakery.

Refuge Coffee will prioritize working with Canopy NWA to employ resettled refugees who meet the necessary qualifications for available positions. We hope to provide these employees with a safe, profitable, and joy-filled work environment.

Funding for Refuge Coffee will stem from a $60,000 personal investment and a $20,000 five-year commercial business loan from Legacy National Bank. This initial investment is intended to cover equipment costs, startup costs, and cash flow deficits that may occur. We anticipate maintaining a gross profit margin of 80% on beverages and food and a 50% margin on merchandise.


Springdale, Refugee, Downtown