Black Drip Coffee’s OctoberFest is an extension of Charon Thompson’s passion for helping his fellow entrepreneurs, he shared.
The free event — now in its third year — aims to bring together coffee enthusiasts, music lovers, and foodies in a vibrant atmosphere that showcases local small business owners. Festivities are set for 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 7 in the parking lot of the Roasterie Factory Cafe, 1204 W. 27th St.
“Dan Smith and I see that hosting Black Drip’s OctoberFest can enhance the reputation of Kansas City or the region as an entrepreneurial hub, attracting talent and businesses,” said Thompson, who co-founded Black Drip Coffee with Smith.
At the festival — which is sponsored by the Roasterie, Messenger Coffee, the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, Boulevard Brewing Company, and Red Bull — the organizing duo expects to feature more than 60 vendors with entrepreneurs set to connect with 200 to 300 attendees, Thompson noted.
“The goal is to give vendors — who usually wouldn’t have the opportunity to get noticed — more exposure to an audience,” he added. “Dan and I do this as a free event for vendors and food trucks — serving as valuable educational resources and offering a chance to sell their products. We know that other events usually charge, but we wanted to do something for them for free, so they save money and build up their business and a little extra for the holidays before it gets cold.”
On top of retail and service vendors, food trucks/vendors — including Love is Key, District Biskuits, Brain Freeze, and Nelson’s Flavorades — live music by local musicians — including Muva, E-mac, Shay Lyriq, Alan Wayne The Pradagy, and Bam Keith — and giveaways are planned. Angie Believes is set to host the entertainment, along with DJ 2K.
“Black Drip OctoberFest — besides all the fun activities — provides a platform for entrepreneurs to network, share ideas, and collaborate, which can lead to new partnerships and business opportunities,” Thompson noted.
Before launching the OctoberFest event, Thompson co-founded The Porter House KC with Smith to serve early stage entrepreneurs and businesses that are attempting to launch or expand, but have been halted or delayed by the need for greater education or more resources.
The latest project from PHKC is its in-the-works 811 Retail Incubator, focused on boosting retail entrepreneurs from the urban core, which will include nine “booths” where early-stage main street entrepreneurs can lease space at a low-cost, short-term lease period, to showcase and sell their products.
“My motivation to help entrepreneurs is through servitude,” Thompson explained. “We do it as a need, and it makes me happy to help others and see their progress with their business and livelihood. My mom was a teacher, and teaching and giving back is something she taught me growing up. Throughout my journey, I felt like it was destiny to help others.”