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How to build a luxury coffee brand from the Port of Mokha in Yemen with Mokhtar Alkhanshali

Startup Confessionals

Entrepreneurship

Today’s episode is with Mokhtar, the founder of Port of Mokha, a luxury coffee brand.

Mokhtar comes from an ancient lineage of farmers in Yemen that traces back to when the world’s first coffee was cultivated in his home province of Ibb over five centuries ago.

In 2013, Mokhtar began focusing on his family’s roots as coffee farmers in Yemen. Seeking to reverse Yemen’s nearly lost art of coffee cultivation, he founded Port of Mokha. Mokhtar has helped to reverse the declining quality of Yemeni coffee and re-establish it as the one of industry's most treasured origins.

In 2017 his coffee was rated as the number one coffee in the world by the Coffee Review. His work has been profiled in GQ, FastCompany, Vanity Fair, and New York Times, among others. Acclaimed author Dave Eggers’ NYT best-selling book, The Monk of Mokha, traces Mokhtar’s journey as a social entrepreneur and his harrowing escape from war-torn Yemen with his first coffee samples.

We dive into the following:

✅ What Port of Mokha is with our audience, and also where they can find it
✅ Why he decided to start his company, and his journey
✅ How he was able to prove his product market fit, and become a luxury
✅ How he was able to pay the farmers in Yemen what they deserved
✅ Adversity that he faced on his journey, especially during the pandemic

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with startup founders in the Middle East and North Africa!

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