Introduction

We are raising funds for a new coffee shop in the Arlington neighborhood, located in the south of Pittsburgh. When we open, we will be the only coffee shop in Arlington, and we’ll be within walking distance of 4,000 potential customers.

We are looking to borrow up to $60,000 at an interest rate of 10.00% over a 60 month term.



About Hilltop Coffee

We are determined to become a daily necessity and space of respite for locals in the south Pittsburgh area: a place to think of as you try to escape the daily stress of life or the inertia of retirement; a comfortable space to meet your friends or make new ones; a respite to read a book or work on projects. With the demand growing for delicious coffee, great service, and pleasant third-space environments, Hilltop Coffee will capitalize on our proximity to such local demand to build a core group of repeat customers. We will offer our customers high-quality coffees complimented with various pre-packaged pastries and snacks, juices, as well as free books and board games to enjoy.

The company will operate a 580 square foot coffee bar within walking distance of 4,000 potential customers in the dense and geographically interesting neighborhoods of Arlington and the South Side Slopes. The neighbors of Hilltop Coffee range in age from schoolkids to long-term resident retirees, from college students to young professionals and tradespeople.


This is a side view of our building.


Owners Jami and Dan have long desired to open a cafe as inspired by their travels throughout the US and Europe. For them, this dream seemed far off until a chance conversation with a friend. This friend connected them with a local landlord who recently closed his HVAC business and was looking for a new, good business that would enrich the community they live in. Not too long after, a sweetheart lease was reached, and plans for opening a coffee shop were drawn in earnest.

Currently, we are preparing the site for major renovations and working with various stakeholders in the local community as well as various organizations such as the URA to ensure the success of the business. The process from sweat equity to shovel ready is nearly complete!


The current front of the building, which we will transform.


We aim to be profitable within our first year of operation. Along with all-important profitability that sustains the functions of the business, we desire to grow its reach with high community engagement and provide more local job opportunities. Additionally, the business will recognize and display local creativity and artistry, as well as host regular well-attended events and community meetings.

Continuing the desire to be the locus of community opportunity and connection, by its third year the business aims to be a community fixture. We want to be a byword for connection: "meet you at the Hilltop!" Beyond this frame, we will act as a generator for new local business that will revitalize the formerly bustling business district along Arlington Avenue. More businesses, more opportunities, and more options make for happier, more engaged community members.


These murals can be seen across the street.


Going forward, we aim to export our successful model of community engagement and revitalization to other local neighborhood business districts in the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding municipalities. Within five to seven years, there will be a second Hilltop Coffee location.

If an investor is choosing between the many qualified and deserving investment campaigns, considering Hilltop Coffee among them would be a wise choice. For every dollar of investment, their money will directly and positively impact the neighborhood around us. The investor is not merely investing in a business; they are choosing to invest in a neighborhood.


This will be our exterior sign.


Fast Facts

  • Woman majority-owned business
  • Would be only the second new business to open in the business district in over 20 years
  • Takes advantage of growing population and incomes of the area
  • Job creator in a neighborhood that would benefit from local employment opportunities
  • Providing a low-cost, local platform for various artists to find their audience
  • Creates a platform for continued and accelerated community and business growth in a undeserved area

This will be our espresso machine.


The Project

We will utilize the money raised in this campaign to help mitigate the costs of renovation to the location. The minimum investment raise of $20,000 will do exactly that. Beyond this minimum, additional funding will allow the payment of already-accrued debts for current and future equipment purchases, marketing, staff hiring and training, decoration, and furniture.


We'll be using a Bunn drip coffee maker.


The implementation of this project will give us a solid financial footing and the confidence to make the best customer-oriented planning decisions in the opening of the cafe. The current funding mechanisms for Hilltop Coffee are primarily predicated on the owners' home equity line of credit and other small financial instruments. Relying on a more solid financial foundation than that will allow us to open our doors sooner, identify and act on more competitive bids and vendors, and provide better products for the customers.

With a successful campaign, we will be able to put the invested funds to good use on day one with tangible impact. A surer financial footing begets a surer, sounder business decision-making process that always puts the customer first.


This will be the main display fridge.


About the Owners

Jami Szalla

Growing up in her family's bar and restaurant, Jami Szalla has been business-trained from day one. She graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination before moving on to work for the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC. After earning her CPA while with the Navy, she returned to her home neighborhood and move only a few blocks away from the soon-to-be site of Hilltop Coffee. Opening a business in her beloved childhood neighborhood motivates and inspires her to lead this business into success. She currently works as an Accounting Analyst at UPMC but will leave this position for full-time business management close to the opening date.

Dan Gladis

Dan Gladis grew up in neighboring Beaver County and earned a BA from Slippery Rock University in history and philosophy. He attended graduate school at the University of Cincinnati working on various topics in European history and spending much of his research time in archives and cafes both sides of the Atlantic. After grad school, Dan has worked a plethora of job from laboratory technician, to construction - from restaurant and bar management, to his current work as a data clerk for the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Dan will aid Jami in all aspects of the business operations while maintaining his job at the courts, providing a stable household income and excellent benefits during the often challenging business start-up phase. Additionally, Dan will bring his connections with various European tea manufacturers and experienced cafe palate to bear on the quality control side of the business.


The owners, Jami Szalla (L) and Dan Gladis.


Deal Summary

Issuer

  Hilltop Coffee LLC

Security Type

  Secured Loan

Loan Purpose

 Startup costs for retail coffee space

Offering Amount

  $10,000 - $60,000

Interest Rate

  10.00%

Payments

  Monthly, Disbursed to Investors Quarterly

Maturity

  60 months

Personal Guaranty  

 Dan Gladis and Jami Szalla

Security Interest

 Blanket lien on assets of business


Your Earnings Potential

If you choose to invest, you will make a one-time investment via ACH that will be transferred to a secure escrow account. If the campaign successfully reaches its target, the funds will be distributed to Hilltop Coffee LLC.

For more information on the mechanics of Honeycomb’s crowd investing platform, please review our Education Materials.

Investment Amount One-Time Fee Potential Quarterly Returns* Potential Total Repayment*
$100 $2.85 $6.37 $127.48
$500 $14.25 $31.87 $637.41
$1,000 $28.50 $63.74 $1,274.84
$5,000 $37.25 $318.70 $6,374.11

*Individual payments may vary slightly based on rounding. Potential repayments include principal and interest; they do not include the one-time fee which is assessed when you make your investment. These amounts are calculated as a fully amortizing loan, which means that principal and interest are paid down starting with the first payment. There are no prepayment penalties and Hilltop Coffee LLC may pay down their loan early, which may impact your earnings potential. Please note, returns are not guaranteed and investors could lose some or all of their investment.

Your ongoing responsibilities from investing are very limited. Over the life of the loan, you will receive a yearly 1099-INT, which is a simple tax document similar to what you receive for most savings accounts.

Hilltop Coffee LLC pays as agreed. You will receive quarterly payments directly into your bank account. In the event of a default, you will be contacted by the administrative agent to manage the collections process on the investors' behalf.


How Honeycomb is Compensated

Honeycomb charges Hilltop Coffee LLC a $250 posting fee and a 7.0%-8.0% loan origination fee on the total amount funded.

Additionally, to cover expenses associated with each investment, Honeycomb charges a 2.85% investment fee capped at $37.25 per investor.

Like what you see?  Check out our other campaigns here!