I’am Quentin born and raised in Uccle (Brussels) and I am a social entrepreneur, this is why:
For me coffee is much more than a hot drink. Coffee has always attracted, but above all gathered people around a cup of coffee. Today we are talking about a new fashion. The “espresso bars” growing like mushrooms. But in reality this concept has existed for ages …
From the 17th century the “coffee bars” were places of socialization where people could gather around a cup of coffee, listening to music, reading, playing … Before the establishment of cafes in Europe, places of socialization, existed but rather taverns where the main drinks are alcoholic and consequently prevent a clear spirit conducive to debates … Voltaire, for example, had the reputation of drinking 40 cups of coffee each day to help him to stay awake to think, think, think about how to fight tyranny and fools. Coffee and coffee bars have thus provided the environment necessary for the diffusion of the thoughts of the philosophers of the Enlightenment.
In 2008 I had the chance to teach a few weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo to obtain my diploma as I primary school teacher. That’s where my love for Africa started but also where I understood the words “Trade not Aid” and “Teach as you Preach”. The seed was planted, someday I will setup a collaborative trade model with small communities in Africa. How? I did not know.
But this was the foundation of Mamé Noka Coffee Roaster. A coffee roasting company in Brussels buying naturally grown coffee directly from small farmers.
I love coffee so much that I decided to leave my job as a primary school teacher in Brussels and start my own coffee roasting business, in Brussels of course. It is a very big leap into the unknown and my motivation is not only found in my love for coffee. I want to redefine our relationship with coffee and have a greater social and environmental impact through a change in coffee consumption.
We drink 2 billion cups a day on our planet. For us, it is our morning ritual, our fuel to work, our source of heat in winter. But for farmers’ children coffee is much more: it is education, it is medicine when they are sick, food on the table, …. Coffee is the difference between poverty and enrichment. And progress is only possible when farmers have a quality crop and a decent place to sell it.
And that’s where I want to come in. I think coffee has the power to write a new story. It transforms a life of survival into a life of opportunity, a life of hope, a life of legacy. With coffee, we have the power to change the lives of future generations.
And that’s the story I want to co-write.
Will you join me?