Rwanda Bean Company on the Move
Mike Mwenedata and Nick Mazuroski, Co-Founders of Rwanda Bean Company, are the kind of people you meet with and remember what really matters in our short time on this earth: community, family, love, and leaving the world a little bit better than you found it. Mike’s personal story is one that feels like nothing any human should endure, yet he lives with an incredible contagious smile and appreciation for the kindness life has brought his way. His experience coming of age in Rwanda has catalyzed into a drive for action and change.
It was this drive that led to the creation of Rwanda Bean Company. And in the winter of 2016, we embarked on a journey together to tell that story in a way that captured its power and hope without feeling sensational or exploitative. My cousin Matt Hurley, a gifted writer and athlete, joined us to lead the writing effort, and together we dove deep as Mike shared stories of his childhood in Rwanda, moments that changed everything, and a deep deep commitment to help the country and people who had given him so much. But to help them, not through hand-outs or favors, but through fair pay for a crop that flourishes in the Rwandan climate: specialty Bourbon Arabica coffee.
Now, Rwanda Bean Company is expanding through the opening of a flagship roastery and coffee shop in South Portland, and they’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to welcome coffee connoisseurs and activists from Maine and beyond to join in their mission. You’ll hear the fruits of our work together in Mike’s narration on their kickstarter video (below), and see them in his Founder’s Statement in the project description. If you’re interested in supporting an emerging Maine-based business and helping to strengthen Rwanda from within, I hope you’ll consider joining their kickstarter campaign, keep an eye out for their beans, and visiting the store when it opens!