Photo Credit: Courtesy of MochaBox Coffee
MochaBox: Meet The Black Men Brewing Culture Into Their Coffee Brand
MochaBox Coffee Company was started by college roommates turned best friends, Floyd Sartin and Harlin Thomas, who wanted to change the lack of diversity in the coffee industry.
“[As] newcomers to the coffee industry, we were completely unaware of the lack of African-American representation within this large community,” the co-founders said. “We instantly realized that we wanted to change this narrative by being a loud voice within a market where coffee is primarily sourced from regions dominated by people of color.”
The co-founders selected the name Mocha to pay homage to the coastal city in Yemen. During the 15th through 17th centuries, Mocha was known as the premier marketplace for coffee.
Since launching MochaBox Coffee Comany in 2015, the brand has quickly evolved into a full service micro coffee roastery.
In an interview with Travel Noire, the co-founders shared what’s next for their brand.
Travel Noire: What is your reaction to being one of the few Black-owned coffee companies?
Sartin and Thomas: On one hand, we are very proud and inspired by being one of the few Black-owned coffee companies. On the other hand, we believe the coffee industry could benefit by increasing more diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities so that people of color could be better educated and represented in such a historic industry.
Travel Noire: What’s next for MochaBox Coffee Company?
Sartin and Thomas: We would like to start expanding our wholesale and retail footprint into local and regional businesses. Our growth would allow us to create job and apprenticeship opportunities for young people looking to learn more about the coffee industry.
We also would like to introduce new coffees into our portfolio and help expand our customer base’s coffee palates.
Travel Noire: What challenges have you faced during the pandemic and how did you overcome them?
Sartin and Thomas: Before the pandemic, we were very big on participating in local pop-up events, hosting our own pop-ups, and participating in farmers’ markets to help with our brand awareness and interact with our customers in a more intimate setting. Now we are in a 100% virtual setting, which has presented the challenge of interacting with our customers in a more interpersonal way.
Travel Noire: Lastly, is there anything else you want to tell us that I didn’t ask you that you feel is important for this story?
Sartin and Thomas: Our goal is to provide great tasting coffee while also infusing our culture into the coffee consuming experience. In 2021, with the pandemic circumstances still in play, we will be looking to innovate with our customers in the MochaBox coffee and culture experience.