Actor, author, and entrepreneur Hill Harper — whose on-screen credits include CSI: NY and Homeland — has purchased Downtown Detroit’s Roasting Plant Coffee from its founder, Mike Caswell. The coffee shop is known for its proprietary Javabot system, which allows customers to craft a custom drink in approximately one minute.
In addition to the acquisition of the Detroit store, Harper has invested directly in Roasting Plant Inc. and serves as both an advisor and brand ambassador to the company.
“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,” says 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 plans to focus on Roasting Plant’s job training program and increase his involvement with local charitable organizations. He also plans to bring his youth Summer Empowerment Academy, a high school and college preparedness program that Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny Foundation runs nationwide. Harper also recently began restorations on a home in one of Detroit’s historic neighborhoods.
“Our experience in the Detroit market has exceeded our most optimistic expectations and we’re grateful to our loyal customers,” says Mike Caswell, Roasting Plant’s 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.”