By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
MILLVILLE – Inspirations can happen anywhere, and for Renee’ T. DeShields, hers came in the kitchen, and now Mahogany Brew by Renee’ is becoming a reality.
DeShields hopes her inspiration and creation will not only find a home in other kitchens and coffeeshops around South Jersey and the country, but will move others to chase their dreams.
“Mahogany Brew By Renee’ was created in my kitchen,” DeShields told Front Runner New Jersey. “I am cold flavored coffee drinker and though I love hot coffee I often found myself having to pay extra to get flavors that I desired because I would only get the same old same ole — French Vanilla, Mocha, and Carmel.
“But I started to think out the box and said what if I mixed what I like and make what became the Mahogany Renee’ Special. So I did and decided to have others try it without my secret recipe. It worked and now we’re here,” she said.
Dreams Into Realty
That little coffee experiment in DeShields’ kitchen will officially launch Aug. 1 as her own brewed coffee company. It will possibly make her the only Black-owned specialty coffee brand in South Jersey. She will be working to stand out in a field of drink but with plenty of coffee lovers looking for something new.
“Mahogany Brew By Renee’ stands out because we are not the same old flavors,” DeShields said. “We currently have over 48 new and upcoming flavors to be launched. Along with its featured cappuccinos, frappes, and lattes that will also launch this year. Our coffee reminds you of Sunday morning — when you got up to good old gospel music playing in the kitchen, while momma cooked a big breakfast for the household.
“Can’t you remember the aroma that filled the air? Can’t you remember the look on your parents face when they took that first sip? Remember wanting to be old enough to drink some too? Those memories were and are still too important to me,” she continued.
Living the Entrepreneurial Spirit
DeShields said she always had an entrepreneurial spirit about her. The Vineland native said she pursed education in the medical field after high school and while working in the profession, she realized it wasn’t her true passion.
“I’m so blessed to have people that have inspired my life in so many ways,” DeShields said. “My immediate family has played a huge role in being my inspiration but so has my church family and godparents.
“I have to say my biggest source of encouragement has been the outpouring of love from the African-American community when they find out I own my own brand. I have people celebrate my success and have been preordering it before its launch,” she added.
Forged by Strong Women
She said those inspirations are part of her branding and naming each flavor, giving it her own personal flair.
“Every flavor is named after a strong woman that has influenced or has spoken into my life,” DeShields said. “It is because of these amazing women that this company was prayed over and is now come to life. It gives us pleasure to use nothing but the best Brazilian Arabica coffee and rich flavor profiles to accomplish nothing but sheer excellence.
“Every cup should allow you to escape to the next level of greatness while escaping life’s ups and downs. We look forward to serving your homes and communities with nothing but true blessings,” she continued.
Her first flavors include Sweet Lady Mocha, Ms. Salted Caramel Boo, and Ms. Queen Nita, a mix of milk chocolate and southern pecan flavor. The first bag will cost $14 and $25 for a two-bag purchase.
“If you want to preorder your bag of delicious flavored grind coffee, you can do so by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 856-259-5797. You can pay by first emailing your flavors, your name, and your address and pay @mahoganybrew on Cashapp,” she said.
As her dream comes more into view, DeShields said she hopes to see others motivated by the efforts.
‘Our Voice, Our Respect’
“As an African-American woman it is extremely important to me to be a role model in a time when our community is fighting for our rights, our voice, and our respect,” DeShields said. “We have many losing hope because of the inconsistency of what they see. I desire to let the life I live speak for me. Let my testimony be a testament that it’s completely possible to rise from the ashes. To be successful when the world has told you that can’t make it.
“I am a believer in the Word of God. 1 Timothy 4:12 English Standard Version (ESV)12 says, ‘Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.’ If I can show these very things in my life and help other African-Americans to understand that if you keep God first that everything else will follow including your dreams, then I’ve accomplished more than I ever expected.”
She will be encouraging others one sip at a time.
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