“Coffee matendo,” means “coffee is precious” says Annet, a Ugandan Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. For centuries, it has fueled humanity’s progress. Today, coffee has become one of the many casualties of a globalized economy. While we regularly enjoy expensive and exotic brews; we rarely stop to think who was responsible for supplying the coffee to our favorite cafe. In reality, there are communities that thrive on the growth and sale of these prized beans, like those in Uganda.
During a sourcing trip, Earnest met with scores of Ugandan farmers. He observed how ingrained coffee is in the culture. One of the farmers, Annet , said “coffee matendo,” or “coffee is precious”. For Annet and others, coffee is heralded because it is their livelihood. They pour countless hours into tending their plants every season without the use of agro-chemicals, a practice which took generations to perfect. Even so, their modest harvests live or die by the unpredictable weather unlike their mass-produced counterparts. Despite all of the odds, they are ecstatic to share their sweet and fragrant coffee with the world.
Matendo Coffee was established to help share this labor of love from communities whose livelihood resides in each harvest. By drinking our coffee, you support farmers like Annet who work tirelessly to bring you the highest-quality beans Uganda has to offer. So go ahead, savor a cup of authentic East African culture and craftsmanship.
About the Founder
Born in Kampala, Uganda, Earnest spent the first 10 years of his life surrounded by family, Ugandan culture, and coffee fields. He then moved to Aurora, Colorado in the United States with his family where he attended junior high and high school. Earnest then pursued a degree in Communication at Arizona State University, followed by his MBA in Marketing from the Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University. After college, Earnest wanted to pursue a marketing career in sports working with organizations such as the Phoenix, Suns and Burns Entertainment and Sports. He also worked as a brand/marketing manager for Whataburger in Arizona.
During his college days, Earnest didn’t care much about coffee aside from drinking it to stay awake during finals. In the fall of 2015, a childhood friend in Uganda asked Earnest to help him market his coffee products in the United States. This reconnected Earnest back to his roots as he discovered that coffee had always been a large part of Uganda’s identity. In fact, coffee was in his family dating back to his great grandfather who farmed coffee to earn a living. Earnest remembers his grandmother harvesting coffee cherries inside her house. As this new interest in coffee grew, Earnest visited Uganda for the first time since he left as a 10-year-old child. Unfortunately, Earnest’s grandmother passed away before he was able to return to Uganda. In 2016, Earnest created Matendo Coffee Importers in honor of his late grandmother and her legacy. Her love of family, compassion, culture and beloved country inspired him to share Uganda's great coffee and culture with the world.