In 2014, we began importing green beans from Uganda in an attempt to expose the region to the coffee world. With Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi taking up all the shelf space, Uganda was in many ways just waiting to be discovered. At this point, we didn’t even know if we liked coffee all that much, how to brew it — let alone sell it. We started off selling green beans to various coffee shops and larger coffee companies with mild success. Selling our green (un-roasted) beans was becoming less and less rewarding after buying directly from the cooperatives and farmers, picking up and unloading the heavy burlap sacks into our trucks (after paying expensive import costs), and then trying to sell the beans into a competitive coffee landscape. We were one of the few coffee companies actually importing the coffee beans instead of buying from an import company. We had something special, and we hadn’t fully realized it yet. Aside from this, one major thing was missing : our MBUNTU branding.
After making the decision to market and sell roasted and packaged bags to build our company and expose the MBUNTU philosophy (along with our personal story), MBUNTU was starting to be familiarized by many coffee lovers in Canada. After dozens of trips to Uganda, farm visits to Brazil, hundreds of green bean samples sent to various roasters and companies, thousands of 12 oz bags (packed ourselves), various roast profiles, and four different bag designs later — we are ready for the next phase of becoming one of Canada’s household coffee brands. Thanks to a couple distribution gurus who believed in us, as well as the farmer cooperatives that we work with, our MBUNTU crew on the ground in Uganda, our friends, family and our dedicated supporters who have been there since day one —we are gearing up for some BIG announcements. Coffee will always bring people together, and we hope while enjoying your next cup, you can embrace the “mbuntu” philosophy and share its meaning with those around you.