MotMot partners with coffee co-operatives that foster economic, product quality, and community development. We pay premiums higher than Fair Trade and ensure a close personal connection with farmers and co-op management. Our vertically integrated supply chain assures no middlemen take a percentage of the money that farmers earn.
Nicaraguan coffee co-ops and Seattle University have been connected since the 2003 coffee crisis. Catholic Relief Services sent a professor of coffee chemistry from our campus to Matagalpa to offer aid. In 2013, we began involving our sister school, Universidad de Centro Americana - Managua, as translators and gaining student business experience.
In 2015, we purchased our first batch of coffee and sold it under the co-op's brand name. In the years following we've hired a team of six student executives, integrated a student intern team, doubled sales year over year, and are now incorporated as a WA State Non-Profit Corporation.
Spring of 2019, we successfully expanded to our second country of origin, integrating specialty Vietnamese coffee product offerings to create Tâm.
What is a Motmot?
The MotMot is the national bird of Nicaragua! In Spanish, called Guardabarranco ("ravine-guard"), the Turquoise-Browed MotMots are known for their unique racquet-tipped tail.
The MotMot inhabits Central America from the south of Mexico to Costa Rica. A small bird, only weighing 2.3 oz. and approximately 13 inches in length, they live in open forests and scrubland. While most bird species observe the male bird with more flashy plumage, both sexes of the Motmot are equally colorful. The racquet-tipped tail is usually waved above the bird's head in response to predators.
This bird is a symbol for our company because it is a symbol for Nicaragua; everything we do honors our international partners and the vibrancy of the land where our coffee grows.
In 2018, MotMot received a grant for a team of six students and two faculty to travel to an Asian country and study an international issue in an Asian context. MotMot chose to study coffee in Vietnam, the second-largest producer of coffee in the world. For three weeks, our team traveled throughout the Da Lat mountains and found the Married Beans, an ethical co-operative coffee collective. Because MotMot's values aligned with Married Beans primary goal of supporting livelihoods and raising the standard of living for coffee farmers to encourage specialty coffee production, we decided to partner with them to bring premium Vietnamese coffee to Seattle.
In June of 2019, after a year of processing paperwork and registering with the FDA, our first shipment of Tâm coffee beans arrived. We are proud to be able to provide a new and delicious roast to the Seattle area straight from the heart of Vietnam.
Tâm translates to "heart" or "center" in Vietnamese and speaks to a larger philosophy of living life aligned with your heart in your actions. The Tâm logo is a sunflower as it is one of the main symbols of the city of De Lat and sunflowers have a big center, or heart, of the flower.
Motmot Coffee is associated with the Albers School of Business. Through our robust internship recruitment program and hiring of young professionals into leadership positions we foster leaders for the next generation of responcible and ethical business.
Albers assures that graduates leave with the knowledge to "transform the world through ethical and innovative business practice that ensures that social justice has a place in the business world, above and beyond the bottom line."