A Year In Review: 2019 Highlights
Reflecting on the last decade, especially the founding of the Moka Origins Farm in Cameroon, it seems that our ambitious goal of spreading empowerment and creating a sustainable, transparent supply chain for cacao and coffee Farmers in Cameroon, has taken on a life of its own.
As a young startup, it’s always humbling to see the loyal support we have been able to gather since we opened our doors in 2017 to the Moka Origins Chocolate factory and Coffee roastery. From the early days, with Jeff Abella meticulously roasting small one-pound batches of Cacao to today, with the production team having roasted over 7 Tonnes of coffee and cacao beans in 2019, our commitment to humanitarian empowerment and relationships with various partners growing deeper.
At the farming level, our partnerships have allowed us to develop communities and standardize best practices in Cacao fermentation through our Farmer Field School. At the product level, our Partner Cafe’s and Camp Coffee partnerships have allowed us to educate consumers on and shift their perception towards premium craft Chocolate.
Celebrating 3 years of our Small Business in 2019…
Our loyal Moka fans and partners have supported our e-commerce, in-store, and wholesale presence through the years, and with their constant support, we were able to introduce Moka Origins to the rest of the world. As a small business, here are some highlights from 2019…
- In November, we were invited by Poconos based summer camp to collaborate on a Moka Origins and Camp IHC pop up in New York City.
2. In New York, we unveiled our Africa Origin Series — dedicated to showcasing quality chocolate from underrepresented Cacao growing regions in Africa. We headlined this series with the one of the Industry’s first Single Origin Bar Craft chocolate bar from Cameroon.
3. As the world continued to explore the Vineyards of Bordeaux in quest of nuanced flavors of fine wine, we launched a parallel adventure in search of the best single-origin beans.
Our Moka Adventure series kicked off with a trip to the Dominican Republic’s Premium Cacao Reserve — Zorzal estate. Hiking through the lush forests of the northern Dominican Republic, this adventure let our Moka fans to experience and learn about chocolate production from the ground up. Our Moka immersion Adventure Series will continue in 2020 with a trip to Mexico (sold Out)…
4. 2019 blessed us with winning the FedEx Small Business Grant.
We were able to use their support to expand our production facility and were featured on their website as a success story as a FedEx Small Business print partner.
5. We were picked up by Cococlectic in November 2019.
The exclusive coverage through this eclectic craft chocolate subscription service allowed us to showcase our Africa origin Series to serious craft chocolate fans and perfect our product before revealing it to the rest of the world.
6. We were featured on Wallstreet Journal’s December holiday roundup ‘Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide for Informed Indulgers.”
7. We designed and launched the first of 4 Moka Origin partner cafés at a hospital in Iowa.
This fully integrated Moka retail experience allows customers to learn about our humanitarian efforts while tasting some of the best beans from around the world. Through these cafes, our partners provide continual support to our humanitarian efforts in Africa.
Buy Moka Change Lives Mission 2019:
As a company that evolved out of extensive humanitarian efforts in Africa, our commitment to our core mission remains unperturbed. Even today, every Moka Origins product comes with a promise — Buy Moka, Change Lives. Here is how you have helped us spread empowerment and do good through our products.
- In the midst of severe civil unrest, our efforts went a long way to aiding victims while creating jobs in Cameroon
- We planted a total of 7,886 trees in 2019, contributing to a thriving network and social infrastructure in Cacao farming villages in Cameroon. This effort facilitates training on best harvesting practices in the cacao industry and incentivizes these farmers by buying quality beans at a 50% premium higher rate over local markets.
3. We’ve planted a total of 41,000 trees since beginning in 2015.
4. We grew and harvested thousands of pounds of plantain, corn, beans and other food crops for local Cameroon consumption.
5. In the U.S. our pilot run of the Moka Origins Camp coffee program was a huge success and for 2020 we have new partner camps signed up. By introducing the concept of ethically sourced chocolate and coffee to children at camp from a young age, we breed a new generation of conscious consumers.
6. We moved our packaging to a 100% recyclable inner foil lining and use stickers made from recycled material, moving one step towards our goal of becoming a Zero Waste facility.
Onward… 2020 and beyond
With a successful year in 2019, we have been working hard towards a lot of exciting innovation and updates to enhance your Moka Origins experience.
1. In line with our packaging update, we will be introducing new packaging that tells the story of each individual farmer.
2. We are always on the lookout for new farms to work with and have partnered with new cooperatives to introduce unique varieties of single-origin chocolate and coffee to the world.
3. Our Moka Cafe expansion project continues with 3 new physical locations scheduled for 2020. We value partners who believe in our mission and values and are happy to onboard new fans into our Moka Cafe partnership program.
Thank you again to all of our friends, family members, subscribers, and customers for all the support along the way. We couldn’t have done it without your trust. Together let’s continue to change the way the world appreciates incredible chocolate and coffee.