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BY Abu Mubarik, 3:00pm June 14, 2021,

This Kenyan ditched her lucrative job on Wall Street to sell coffee. Now she’s made history

Margaret Nyamumbo is behind the first Black woman-owned coffee brand to be sold at Trader Joe’s. Photo: @kahawa1893/Instagram

Margaret Nyamumbo hails from Kenya and first migrated to the United States to attend college. She obtained her MBA from Harvard Business School and went on to work as a Wall Street Investment Banker. In 2017, she quit her Wall Street job to establish Kahawa 1893 Coffee, a coffee brand making waves in the United States.

Nyamumbo grew up on coffee farms in Kenya and knows what goes into the making of coffee. She said in an interview that she ventured into coffee production because she wants to share coffee with the world and also close the racial and gender gap in the coffee industry.

Nyamumbo further explained that in her native country, Kenya, women provide more than 90 percent of the labor in coffee but are under-compensated. “I founded Kahawa 1893 to make sure the women were visible and get a fair share for their outsized contributions to coffee,” she said.

Her coffee brand is grown in Kenya and roasted fresh in San Francisco. The brand offers several coffee blends, including Kenyan, Peaberry, Serengeti, Ethiopian, Safar, 1893 Espresso, decaf, and single-serve blends. 

Nyamumbo recently made history as the first Black woman-owned coffee brand to be sold at Trader Joe’s, a leading grocery store in the U.S. In May, Kahawa 1893 Coffee debuted in over 200 Trader Joe’s stores in California.

“Being the first Black woman-owned coffee brand to be sold in Trader Joe’s is not only an exciting time for me but also signifies a commitment in showcasing the amazing diversity in the marketplace by Black-owned brands,” Nyamumbo said. “I am thrilled to share the rich and aromatic flavors of Kahawa 1893, a true Kenyan coffee with consumers while supporting the female African coffee farmers who are an integral part of this incredible journey.”

Nyawumbo strategically chose Kahawa 1893 as a brand name to celebrate the beauty of African coffees and Black excellence. Kahawa means coffee in Swahili and 1893 is the year that coffee returned to Africa, according to Travel Noire.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 14, 2021


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