Decaf coffee entrepreneur wins UD business pitch competition

Local News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – A woman from the Miami Valley traveled the world in search of the perfect decaf coffee for her small business, now University of Dayton is helping her business grow.

Centerville native Kait Brown started work on her caffeine-conscious business, Savorista, in 2016.

“I was in a pretty stressful job with some long hours, and on top of that my father became very ill and was diagnosed with cancer,” Brown said. “I realized that the caffeine in the coffee that I loved was actually amplifying that stress.”

Disappointed by the decaf coffees she tried, Brown and her husband, Daniel Fernandes, set out on a quest to Africa and South America until they found naturally made decaf and half-caf coffee that would become the premise of her business.

“That, in many ways was the point where we were like, ‘Oh we can totally build a business out of this,'” Brown said.

After Brown perfected her decaf coffee flavors, UD’s Flyer Pitch competition is helping her brew success.

“She found a big market, but she was focused on a narrow selection in that market, or a narrow segment in that market, which tends to be a sign of successful startup businesses when they think narrow versus thinking broad,” Vince Lewis with UD’s L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership said.

Savorista was chosen out of 50 competitors. Brown received $25,000 cash and $25,000 in support from the Dayton Entrepreneurs Center.

Kait said she’ll use the money to help with marketing and other aspects of the business.

“We’re so excited to win, and really honored,” Brown said. “The other businesses that were in the competition were really fantastic as well.”

With the support from UD and her husband, Brown plans to continue the grind as a small business owner.

“She’s like the genuine article when it comes to a business woman with a purpose, with heart who’s just really innovative,” Fernandes said.

Brown’s decaf and half-caf coffees are available to purchase through Savorista’s website.

Brown said she would like to expand the business’ ecommerce and start partnering with coffee shops and restaurants.


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