Our Story: Becoming a Direct-Trade Coffee Company


MotMot began in 2015 when a group of business and engineering students at Seattle University received a global grant focused on economic development. With the grant, the students and several faculty from the Albers School of Business and Economics traveled to Nicaragua to help install 8-15 filters on coffee farms to combat agro-chemical contaminated water runoff into coffee farms. While in Nicaragua, the students, including MotMot founder Braden Wild, and Seattle University professors, Sue Jackels and Quan Le had extra grant money and decided to purchase 400 pounds of coffee from the farms. After transporting it back to America, roasting the beans and packaging it, they sold all 400 pounds of coffee within one year. The students and faculty advisors realized that their investment in a small batch of coffee could revolutionize Seattle University's initiative to help and invest. With the help and funding of Albers, MotMot was established as a business at Seattle University with a team of students working together to create an identity in the coffee industry. 

"everything MotMot does is in honor of our international partners"

To honor the national bird of Nicaragua, "MotMot" became the name and logo of the company. The MotMot bird is symbolic because everything MotMot does is in honor of our international partners and the vibrancy of the land where our coffee is grown and nurtured.

After many trials and back and forth communication with coffee farmers, MotMot found its first partnership with Golden Coffee Sorting co-operative because the coffee was ethically and sustainably sourced by small farmers and employees who were respected in the company. In a very short time span, MotMot went from spontaneously buying and selling 400 pounds to handling thousands of pounds. 

Over the years, MotMot received the same global grant 4 years in a row and made progress in the coffee industry by partnering with coffee co-ops to foster ethically sourced product quality and community development. As a direct trade business, MotMot pays premiums significantly higher than Fair Trade and ensures a close personal connection with farmers and co-op management. Our vertically integrated supply chain assures no middlemen takes a percentage of the money farmers earn. Each farmer we partner with is guaranteed fair and sustainable wages, quality medical care, and access to education for themselves and their family. 

While advancing as a business, MotMot also built its team of executives while simultaneously integrating a student intern team. Starting as a small group of 5 people, MotMot now has a diverse team of over a dozen Seattle University students who come from different backgrounds and majors. Students on the MotMot team gain unparalleled business experience in international business and ethical company management. They develop skills through experiential learning and educates & encourages consumers on ethical coffee consumption.


Today, MotMot continues to spread awareness of unethical malpractices in the coffee industry and works towards combating those problems. Three years after being founded, MotMot was successful in increasing sales and becoming incorporated as a Washington State Non-Profit Corporation. In 2018, MotMot got a secondary grant called Asia Network which led to travel and research in Vietnam where they learned about the coffee farming industry. In 2019 we were able to launch our second blend: Tâm. Tâm is a Vietnamese coffee blend sourced through The Married Beans which Motmot found on their 2018 trip to Vietnam. Recently, Motmot made the pivot to E-commerce which has allowed us to sell our ethically sourced direct trade coffee globally and expand our market beyond our Seattle home. Read more about our transition here

Take a look at our current products.