The next time you go to Trader Joe’s, try out Kahawa 1893 Coffee, the first Black woman-owned coffee they have offered.
This coffee is the product of CEO and founder Margaret Nyamumbo, who is a third-generation farmer all the way from Kenya.
Nyamumbo came to the US to study in college. She finished her MBA at Harvard Business School and soon worked at Wall Street.
With her business sense and background, she decided to found Kahawa 1893, to help women coffee workers and to fight the prevailing inequities in the coffee industry.
Nyamumbo grew up on a coffee plantation. While there, she witnessed the dedication and passion that goes into growing and producing a cup of coffee.
Her goal was to share this passion with the world while helping to close the industry’s gender and racial gap.
She revealed that in Kenya, 90% of coffee labor comes from women. Despite this, most of them end up being uncompensated or poorly paid. Kahawa 1893 exists to give them visibility and to get them their fair share for all their hard work.
In addition, to giving women fair wages, Kahawa 1893 also has a women’s fund that supports its women coffee growers.
Its bags have a QR code at the back that users can scan if they want to contribute to the fund; the brand promise to match each donation.
From Kenya to The World
Kahawa is the Swahili word for coffee, and 1893 is the year that coffee went back to Africa. The brand, according to Nyamumbo, celebrates the beauty of Black excellence and African coffee.
Her journey has been an adventure so far. She learned everything she could about the coffee industry, from how it works to how she can make an impact.
You can find Kahawa 1893 at stores in New York City, Chicago, and California, along with every Trader Joe’s store in California. Nyamumbo naturally plans to expand into other territories.
The coffee brand consists of 100% Arabica coffee, which you can find in a few varieties: Decaf, Peaberry, Serengeti blend, Safari blend, Kenyan, Espresso, and Ethiopian.
If you’d like to try it out but you’re not close to any store selling it, you can buy it online and choose if you want it ground or whole bean.
Kahawa 1893 is a brand that believes in transparency and equality. As part of its future plans, it wants to make use of new technologies to better connect consumers with buyers. We hope more coffee brands will follow its example and improve the quality of life of their workers.