LeGrand Coffee House, which has been slowly building its brand since launching its first location in May, is about to get a massive marketing and branding boost.
Thursday morning, the New Jersey Devils‘ Buy Black Partnership presented by Prudential Financial announced that LeGrand Coffee House has been selected as the winning Black-owned business for the brand partner promotion during the 2022-23 season.
As the honoree, a LeGrand Coffee House logo will adorn the Devils’ game-worn helmets during all road games — giving LeGrand exposure throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company also will receive top-level marketing and business consultation, physical and digital advertising exposure, financial wellness counseling with a Prudential Financial adviser, local networking opportunities and more, the Devils and Prudential said.
Founded by Eric LeGrand in his hometown of Woodbridge, LeGrand Coffee House serves signature coffee roasts and drinks, while also shipping merchandise nationally through a booming e-commerce business. LeGrand’s ethos is “Coffee. Comfort. Satisfaction.”
LeGrand’s story, of course, is well-known in New Jersey. Since suffering a spinal cord injury on the football field while playing for Rutgers University in 2010, LeGrand has been a motivational speaker while raising money for research. This partnership will be an opportunity to help his coffee — and his inspirational words — reach an even greater audience.
Susan Somersille Johnson, Prudential Financial’s chief marketing officer, said the company is delighted to be able to assist LeGrand.
“Eric’s entrepreneurial spirit and undeniable ambition is what has led him here today,” she said. “His inspirational story is one of resilience, strength and passion, all of which are examples of the qualities that diverse small business owners bring to the table.
“Prudential is proud to partner with the New Jersey Devils to present the Buy Black Program, and to contribute to Black-owned businesses’ growth. Congratulations to Eric, and to all of our winners, who we have no doubt will continue to thrive and make positive impacts in their communities.”
LeGrand Coffee House was selected from a diverse applicant pool of hundreds of Black-owned, New Jersey-based businesses from sectors that included media, technology, human resources, graphic design, retail food/beverage, wellness, hospitality and more, the Devils and Prudential said.
The application process received an overwhelming response and a record-breaking number of applicants — more than the first two years of the program combined, and reaching 150% of the anticipated goal.
Jake Reynolds, the president of the Devils and the Pru Center, said the organizations have been thrilled by the growth of the program.
“Every year, we are fortunate to receive more and more deserving applicants who exemplify what the Buy Black Program stands for and looks to support,” he said. “Our selection committee had another extremely difficult choice, but, to a person, Eric’s story was impactful, powerful and resonated with everyone and we are proud to partner with Prudential Financial to take LeGrand Coffee House to its highest levels of success.
“Whether you are walking into the store in Woodbridge, drinking a cup at Prudential Center for a Devils game, or getting it delivered to your home, we look forward to spreading LeGrand Coffee House’s ‘Daily cup of bELieve!’”
Through its partnership with the Devils, Prudential Financial set an industry-first standard in the 2021-22 NHL season by donating the premier helmet brand position for 30 games to a Black-owned Newark-based business, driving unprecedented marketing and business exposure to the company.
In the program’s third year, Prudential Financial increased their helmet brand position donation by nearly 50%, to include all road games this season. New this year, former Devils captain Bryce Salvador, along with current Devils players, joined the program application process to review submissions and help select and congratulate the winner.
Looking to try Eric LeGrand’s coffee — or get a cool mug? Click here for his e-commerce site.
“Throughout the process, I was blown away by each powerful story from the applicants, the diligence of the Devils team in cultivating the finalists and the passion of Prudential’s group to provide the resources, exposure and opportunity,” Salvador said. “I look forward to working with LeGrand Coffee House in expanding its business and establishing an incredibly successful e-commerce platform.
“The additional commitment of Prudential Financial and the Devils to engage with all the companies shows that even applying can have value. Bringing Eric and his team into the Devils fold will be an exciting and impactful journey and we can’t wait to get started.”