Kyle Tabor is one of the presenters at Wednesday morning’s 1 Million Cups event in downtown Little Rock.
Tabor is the owner of Blue Sail Coffee, a popular hang out and co-work spot for many freelancers and entrepreneurs in Conway.
1 Million Cups is the weekly programming event held each week at 9 a.m. at the Arkansas Venture Center, located at 107 E. Markham in downtown Little Rock catty-corner from the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Participants hear from entrepreneurs and have the opportunity to network and engage with like-minded business people. It’s easy to participate: just show up, drink coffee, ask questions and talk business for an hour.
Talk Business & Politics’ Todd Jones asked Tabor a few questions in advance of his 1 Million Cups presentation on Wednesday morning.
TB&P: Where did you get the idea for Blue Sail Coffee?
Kyle Tabor: Blue Sail Coffee conceptually originated from my personal passion for two things, great coffee and community. Coffee has the ability to make such an amazing and wonderful impact in a community, especially one like Conway. It cultivates art, music, fellowship, business, and many more things within the community. I love that. And not just that, perusing a coffee culture has the ability to change lives on the coffee farming level. And they are the ones who usually need it the most, because the farmers are often times living in third-world poverty. So, this passion fueled the creation of the company that we are so dear to today. I have no partners, and before Blue Sail, I was a sales representative at HP, and a college student at UCA.
TB&P: What type of growth have you seen in recent years and what do you see on the horizon?
Tabor: I’ve seen a lot of growth since conception. When I opened the coffee shop, I had nothing, not even furniture – just me and an espresso machine. Since then I’ve been able to fully furnish and staff the establishment. I’ve also started a roasting operation that has become a great part of Conway. Revenue has been strong, however 99% of the profits go back into the business. I personally make less than every employee, and that’s because I want every dime to go back into my company’s growth. Everyday, I get closer to building the culture in Conway that I’ve been trying so hard to do. There is a lot of growth on the horizon. My company will be opening a second location on the corner of Bruce and College Ave next year. It will be a part of UCA’s newest community development. We are very excited and thankful for this opportunity.
TB&P: You’ll be in a room full of hungry entrepreneurs on Wednesday morning. What do you hope the takeaway for them will be?
Tabor: After I give my condensed presentation over the importance of leadership in a startup venture at 1MC on Wednesday, I aspire nothing more than to have inspired everyone in the room to consider the importance of leadership. I am very passionate about helping people do what I’ve done, and if I can connect with at least one entrepreneur in that room, I will be so happy. Hopefully, I will inspire positive change in someone’s life. If I’m not making other people’s life better, then I have nothing to get me out of bed in the morning.