Coco Noir Wine Shop & Bar: Where Passion for Wine and Social Impact Converge
“The $25,000 funding received from PCV was instrumental in helping pay outstanding expenses incurred during build out of the Coco Noir storefront, and I was able to open on time.”
Alicia Kidd of Coco Noir Wine Shop & Bar has created a new space for wine lovers in the Bay Area as the first Black woman-owned wine shop in Oakland, operating as an in-store retailer, tasting room, and bistro. In September 2017, Alicia Kidd founded The Wine Noire LLC, an online shop dedicated to providing retail space for women winemakers, BIPOC winemakers, and People of Color winemakers. As multi-licensed wine brokerage, they can offer wholesaler, distribution, wine grower and importer services to these winemakers. Due to customer demand, she launched Coco Noir Wine Shop & Bar in February 2020 and found a brick-and-mortar location in Oakland. After two years of buildout, the shop officially opened its doors in December 2022 and received a rating as one of the top wine bars/tasting rooms in the Bay Area by the SF Chronicle May 2023. The Coco Noir team is committed to providing an integrated approached to wine sales that is comprised of showcasing wines from up to 75 winemakers, as well as beer, non-alcoholic beverages, and small tapas bites by BIPOC, People of Color, and Women-owned companies. The start-up made waves as Alicia began to share her strategy of bringing her vision to reality. Since 2020, she has been awarded Start-Up Business Award by Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce (2020), Appointed Board Member of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce (2020), Wine Spectator Magazine Feature (2020), and Somm Journal Magazine Feature (2021).
As Alicia began her advanced endeavor of opening her first location, an abundance of challenges tested her resilience and determination. Experiencing the weight of being underfunded, she persevered despite the obstacles that presented themselves. Additionally, the impact of Covid-19 and its subsequent restrictions, such as inflation and increased cost in labor and materials, compounded her trials. Balancing her dreams with reality of being Black woman navigating the complexities of opening a storefront and the funding process, Alicia did not allow anything to keep her from reaching her goal.
In late September 2020, Alicia launched her Wefunder fundraising campaign and by summer of 2021 raised $300,000 in capital, however she needed additional funding for operations and completing the build out. When she looked for additional lending sources, she was unable to secure one loan for the total amount of capital she needed. In 2022, Alicia was introduced to Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) through her network of entrepreneurs in the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. Recognizing the opportunity for PCV to be an integral part of her journey, Alicia reached out, resulting in a strong partnership that would be a crucial part of her journey. After a conversation with PCV, she applied for and received a $25,000 loan- a vital fusion of low-rate capital that provided her with short-term relief. Despite the challenges faced, Alicia shares, “The $25,000 funding received from PCV was instrumental in helping pay outstanding expenses incurred during build out of the Coco Noir storefront, and I was able to open on time.” In addition to the capital provided through PCV’s tailored affordable loan program, she is also gaining access to valuable business resources through PCV partners that will support further growth.
Alicia has big dreams for Coco Noir Wine Shop & Bar, her vision for the company goes beyond offering great wines- she strives to be the premier wine shop in the Bay Area that sells wines produced by BIPOC, Women, and People of Color winemakers and partners. Her growth plan involves securing corporate contracts and hosting events while continually raising capital to drive expansion. She is determined to take her business to new heights and increase her revenue, with her first-year sales projections currently at $500,000. However, Alicia’s focus is not only on financial growth, she also wants to continue to pay livable wages to her employees, offer benefits such as a 401k savings plans, and expand the business. Her next goal is to open airport locations throughout California, making Coco Noir Wine Shop & Bar a recognizable and thriving brand that people can enjoy wherever they go. With her passion, drive, and determination, Alicia is sure to make Coco Noir Wine Shop & Bar a fan favorite in the wine and spirits industry.
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