This North Carolina woman resigned from her day job to start coffee cart in honor of her late dad

Get to know entrepreneur Iasia Montana-Maye from Durham, North Carolina. She is the founder of Espréssate, a coffee company she started in honor of her late father. Her business offers a place on wheels where people can gather to network and bond over a warm cup of coffee.

“At Espressate, we passionately brew the essence of Cuban-American warmth and connection in every cup,” the business says. “Founded in loving memory of our late father, we strive to honor his legacy by sharing the rich heritage of our coffee traditions with our community, fostering moments of joy, unity, and cultural appreciation, one sip at a time.”

Since it is a mobile coffee cart and not a brick-and-mortar coffee shop, Montana-Maye said she and her team can serve specialty coffee at all sorts of events.

According to the Durham, North Carolina entrepreneur, her biggest success so far has been finding the courage to resign from her day job to focus on her coffee business.

“Finding the strength and courage to finally resign from my day job and put everything I’ve got into my business,” she told The Story Exchange. “I no longer define my success according to financial and professional accomplishments. I now define it as living a life that aligns with my values and brings me a sense of fulfillment and contentment.”

Like any business, one is bound to face challenges, and Montana-Maye was no exception. Before resigning from her day job to focus on her business, she had to strike a balance between her career and the new company she was starting.

“Before leaving my day job, it was really difficult to balance my career with my business. I addressed it by reminding myself of my ‘why’ and remembering that my dad never got the chance to retire from work and truly live his own life. And I addressed it by respectfully resigning and moving full speed ahead with my business.”

Despite overcoming the initial challenge that confronted her, she also had to come to terms with losing her father, even though that pushed her to pursue true happiness.

What keeps her? The entrepreneur noted that she finds “inspiration” in her “darkest days” by “reflecting on the raw emotion I felt when I was in my dark days of grief and observing how far I have come.”

For new entrepreneurs who want to be like her, Montana-Maye said the journey is going to be “scary,” but they should not be discouraged even if they are scared.

Abu Mubarik

Abu Mubarik is a journalist with years of experience in digital media. He loves football and tennis.

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