Axanar Coffee cards are splayed over a table at a Georgia coffeehouse during a spring 2017 meeting between OWC Studios head Alec Peters and visiting Hansa Coffee CEO Kevin Kane. Image/Alec Peters/Facebook.

Axanar Associates Launch Georgia Coffeehouse

Axanar Coffee Creator is a Partner in the Atlanta-Area Federal Coffee House

PEACHTREE CORNERS, Ga. — Back during the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit, one of the most damning pieces of information against producer Alec Peters was what appeared to be his attempt to capitalize off Star Trek’s intellectual property by selling branded coffee.

The Federal Coffee House

Fast forward a few years to this town north of Atlanta, where on July 9, 2018, its newest craft coffeehouse was to open in the Spaulding Center shopping center, just a half-hour drive from the home of Peters and his girlfriend, Crysstal Hubbard, in nearby Lawrenceville.

INTERIOR of The Federal Coffee House. Image/The Federal/Facebook

Corporate Officers, Familiar Names

According to state records, Hubbard is the chief financial officer of The Federal Inc., owner of the about-to-open The Federal Coffee House. The company’s other officers also turn out to be known associates of Peters:

  • The chief executive officer is Axanar’s former head of construction, Curtis Short, who also worked for Peters in his prop-selling business, the now-defunct Propworx.
  • The secretary is Sophia Crawford, Peters’ former physical trainer.


AXANAR COFFEE Before the copyright lawsuit, Hansa Coffee launched this coffee-selling campaign with proceeds going to Alec Peters, ostensibly to pay for the never-produced Axanar feature film.

And The Federal’s sourcing partner? None other than Illinois-based Hansa Coffee, the company that sold the ill-fated Axanar Coffee that was one of the revenue streams Peters created to support Axanar, drawing the ire of Star Trek’s owners, CBS and Paramount Pictures.

PARTNER Hansa Coffee of Illinois is a partner in The Federal Coffee House. Hansa head Kevin Kane is pictured, right, with Alec Peters.

Connections to Peters

Plans for the new business were in the works at least since February 13, 2018, when the incorporation papers were filed with the Georgia’s secretary of state’s office. The attorney who filed those papers? Peters’ longtime friend and lawyer, Sheldon Friedman, who has managed many of the legal filings for Peters previous companies.

The Federal’s corporate secretary and Peters’ personal trainer, Sophia Crawford, was mentioned in his Captain’s Log, where he thanked her for helping pack for the move from California to Georgia.1) Crawford is also known for playing Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stunt double during the TV production of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.2)

SOPHIA CRAWFORD, Alec Peters’ personal trainer, helped him move out of California. She is now a corporate officer in The Federal Inc.

The business address listed for Crawford and Hubbard in The Federal’s corporate paperwork is Peters’ home address in Lawrenceville.3)

Meanwhile, AxaMonitor reached out to Peters’ spokesman, Mike Bawden, to inquire whether Peters had any financial interest in The Federal Coffee House. Bawden said he did not know, and that “following the disposition of the lawsuit, I’ve generally moved on to other things.”4)

He continues to speak with Peters, “every other month or so, mostly to chat about progress on the two Axanar films he’s allowed to make under the settlement, but that’s about it.”5)

Meanwhile, Peters has only publicly referred to the coffeehouse as his friends’ business.

'Our Shop'

Out of public view, however, Peters has freely referred to the business with such terms as “our shop,” or touting menu items using the term “we.” In one private group communication obtained by AxaMonitor, Peters coordinated an upcoming social event for Battlestar Galactica fans’ Fleet group, to be held at the coffeehouse during Dragon*Con 2018. He enticed members by connecting the coffeeshop with Axanar, saying:

Alec Peters
Remember, the Fleet Coffee event is Thursday 2:00-4:00 at our shop at 6365 Spalding Drive, Peachtree Corners 30092
We will have swag! Both Federal Coffee and Axanar!
We have THREE different ice teas. Plus we have AMAZING pastries. So even if you don’t drink coffee there’s plenty for you.

Domain Name

The one direct connection to Peters in publicly accessible records is the domain name registration for the coffeehouse’s website, thefederalcoffee.com, which lists the registrant contact as Propworx, a Peters-owned company.6)

As of this article’s posting, the business had no website, despite one being listed on its Facebook page.

'Helping Start a Business'

In his February 15, 2018, Captain’s Log, Peters made a passing reference about “help[ing] friends start a new business.”7)

PETERS ATTORNEY Sheldon Friedman (pictured right, with Peters) has handled the registration of Peters’ previous Georgia companies. He’s listed as the registered agent for The Federal Inc.

Meanwhile, Friedman’s name first popped up in AxaMonitor‘s investigation into what appeared to be a tangled web of companies and interests behind Peters’ now-abandoned, beleaguered California soundstage, Industry Studios.

Peters spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars on his never-used facility, finally forced to abandon it after his thousands of Axanar fans turned aside his plea for them to set the studio’s financial footing aright.

Peters' Early Involvement

Peters had previously evinced an interest in opening a coffee house, declaring in a June 1, 2017, post on Facebook:

Talking about coffee in Lawrenceville with the creator of Axanar Coffee, Kevin Kane, and the head of the Lawrenceville Economic Development Council! — drinking coffee at The Peachtree Cafe.8)
CONVOLUTED CONNECTIONS between Alec Peters’ Georgia business concerns, his Atlanta attorney and his California companies are mapped out in this infographic. Click image to view full size. Valkyrie graphic/Shuri Dreamscape/Flickr

A couple months later, Peters said more in one of his Captain’s Logs on the Axanar website:

As Curtis [Short, now the CEO of The Federal Coffee House] and I stopped at the post office Friday to pick up our mailbox keys, we saw this amazing old-school gas station across the street. … I love this type of building, and you see a lot of them around the South. Right off the town square, this place would make a great coffee shop! Hmmmmmmm. Axanar coffee shop! :) 9)

Quickly following was an August 27, 2017, Captain’s Log, in which Peters told of a tour of area coffee shops with Kane, the visiting head of Hansa Coffee, which is described on The Federal's Facebook page as a business partner. Peters wrote:

Today was a busy day as Kevin Kane, of Hansa Coffee, the producer of Axanar coffee, was in town. Kevin owns three coffee shops in Chicago and is thinking of opening one (or more) in Atlanta. Kevin is a former investment banker. … I took him around so he could see Atlanta. … Now, if you were one of those people who got Axanar Coffee, you know what good coffee is.10)

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Keywords

1)
Alec Peters, Captain's Log, Axanar Productions website, 8/4/17.
3)
The Federal Inc., Georgia Secretary of State's Office, business search, retrieved 7/8/18.
4) , 5)
Email from Mike Bawden to AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza, 7/9/18.
7)
Alec Peters, Captains Log, Axanar Productions website, 2/15/18.
9)
Alec Peters, Captain's Log, Axanar Productions website, 8/14/17.
10)
Alec Peters, Captain's Log, Axanar Productions website, 8/28/17.