Award-winning actor, author and entrepreneur Hill Harper, whose acting credits include CBS’ CSI: NY and Showtime’s HOMELAND among numerous other notable television and film roles, has taken over as owner of Downtown Detroit’s Roasting Plant® Coffee. Harper, an honors graduate of both Brown University and Harvard University, has long used his platform as a celebrated actor and writer to work in support of underserved youth through his Manifest Your Destiny Foundation. Harper is now widening his reach and providing tactical work skills and professional growth opportunities for Detroit’s youth through his ownership of the city’s Roasting Plant Coffee.
“Detroit is a great American city that was forged on innovation, social enterprise and entrepreneurship. My ownership of Roasting Plant Coffee in downtown Detroit builds upon that legacy. It is truly an honor and privilege for me to help fuel the Motor City, not just with Roasting Plant’s incomparable coffee — but by providing career paths and launching pads to greater success in a booming industry for young Detroiters hungry for opportunity and active mentorship,” said Harper. “Having lived here filming two movies in Detroit over the past four years, I have come to love this city and its people. I believe in Detroit. It is truly a vibrant, unique and great American city.”
Harper’s investment in Roasting Plant Coffee is a hands-on one, too. He recently purchased a home in one of Detroit’s historic neighborhoods and has already begun its restoration. Harper plans to focus on making Roasting Plant’s job training program a success and to increase his involvement with local charitable organizations. Additionally, Harper is bringing his successful youth Summer Empowerment Academy to Detroit this summer. SEA is a free high school and college readiness program that Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny Foundation runs in the most challenged areas in cities across the country.
“We are very fortunate to have Hill Harper as part of our community here in Detroit,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Not just because of his new role as a resident and entrepreneur in the city, but because the personal commitment he brings with him to help support and provide opportunity to the city’s youth and returning citizens.”
Specializing in just-roasted, just-brewed by-the-cup coffee, Roasting Plant is a fast-growing company at the forefront of the coffee industry’s future, In addition to the purchase of the Detroit store, Harper has invested directly in Roasting Plant, Inc., and serves as both an Advisor and Brand Ambassador to the company as a means of providing not only the freshest cup of coffee in the city but as an engine of economic empowerment for Detroit and its young residents.
“Our experience in the Detroit market has exceeded our most optimistic expectations and we’re grateful to our loyal customers,” said Mike Caswell, Roasting Plant Founder. “When Dan Gilbert invited us to join Opportunity Detroit we jumped at the chance to be part of this great American city’s renaissance. We’re so excited to now be partnering with Hill Harper to bring an entrepreneurial approach to empowering young people across the city.”
The innovation that sets Roasting Plant apart from other artisanal, third-wave coffee shops is their proprietary Javabot™ system. This state-of-the art system brings the entire coffee supply chain into each café with on-site micro-batch roasting of green coffee beans and a selection of seven single-origin beans, signature blends or a wide-array of bespoke blends. This just-roasted coffee experience, with personalization of every custom cup of coffee, is the defining quality of Roasting Plant. In about a minute, Roasting Plant’s Javabot™ system allows each customer to engineer their perfect cup of coffee, complete with a frothy cream on top— a telltale sign of freshness. You won’t get this from any other cup of black coffee anywhere else.
Roasting Plant is a vertically integrated coffee company established in 2004 that designs, develops, and manufactures technology that disrupts the coffee trade. The company’s Willy Wonka-like Javabot™ automation system micro-batch roasts in every café, gives customers a choice from a wide selection of the highest quality beans in the world and brews each custom cup of coffee to order. Just-roasted™, just-brewed™, just for you. Founded by industrial engineer and Starbucks alumnus Mike Caswell, Roasting Plant has invested years of R&D to produce the scalable Javabot technology and will soon bring their just-roasted, just-brewed coffee experience to cities around the world.