New ideas are brewing at Cxffeeblack.

Courtesy of Cxffeeblack

The café was struggling with its customer retention rate. A count of 290 customers showed that only 12 of them returned for a second visit — only a 4% retention rate.

The owner, Maurice Henderson, pondered a solution and came up with one. The business would offer a subscription-based coffee service on Shopify.

The problem was, the subscription-based sales model wasn’t compatible with the mobile devices the business was using at the time.

What they needed was a new computer, but they would need funding for that.

The owner, Maurice Henderson, went to the entrepreneur assistance nonprofit Epicenter Memphis for suggestions. They recommended he contact the Entrepreneurship team at Communities Unlimited.

Maurice requested a $1,600 loan to purchase a new laptop computer that would be able to maintain their new subscription service as well as perform other business-related tasks. Communities Unlimited provided a Pivot loan to the company to allow it to purchase the new laptop.

The loan was an unusual one for Communities Unlimited, because it was smaller than most loans provided to entrepreneurs. Most businesses also look to Communities Unlimited for technical assistance to help get a business on track if there are issues.

In the case of Cxffeeblack, owner Maurice Henderson is precise in his details and knows exactly what he envisions for the business. As a result, he would only request a loan for a specific amount to serve a specific purpose. In this case, he simply needed enough money for a new laptop.

That’s precisely what he received, and he soon purchased the laptop. The laptop came just in time for a viral push that skyrocketed sales for his company. His gross sales went from a couple thousand on average per month to more than $65,000 in one month alone.

“Having a laptop gave us access to a different level of business,” Maurice said. “It’s just been a big game changer.”

Today, his subscription service model is near completion and is expected to be tested during a live, online Memphis event in August before officially launching in September. The subscription will include a bag of coffee, virtual content from Maurice’s podcast, as well as healthy eating tips, brewing education and suggestions and music from Cxffeeblack’s 12-song album. Subscribers will also get a chance to try new coffee flavors being tested by Cxffeeblack.

Maurice is in the process of hiring new help in anticipation of the subscription launch. Thanks to a quick loan from Communities Unlimited, he’ll be ready to take his businesses to the next level this fall.

For more information on Cxffeeblack, visit their website at or check out their latest music video (featuring the laptop) at