Allow us to introduce ourselves!
We are Vanessa and Rushu, co-founders of Don Maslow Coffee with the mission to bring you high-quality Honduran coffee that saves the rainforest.
The idea to start our business came to us in a flash. We wanted to own a business that let us have it all. To give us a platform to solve a global problem, to give us a way to help communities in one of our home countries, and to allow us to invent our own job which gave us the opportunity to learn new skills, take risks, have autonomy and a sense of purpose.
Through various connections we had, we discovered that in Honduras, a community of farmers were working with a NGO called the Mesoamerican Development Institute (MDI) (from University of Massachusetts Lowell, Boston USA), to develop and implement a new, environmentally friendly way of producing coffee. We learned that the conventional method for mass-producing coffee was that farmers needed to firstly clear forestland to make way for the coffee plants. After harvesting the coffee, it would need to be dried and the only way to do this was to burn wood to generate enough heat to dry such a large quantity of coffee. In fact, we learned that the expansion of coffee cultivation is the primary threat to cloud forest/rainforest and national parks in Honduras.
MDI has developed hybrid solar/biofuel coffee dryers that use renewable energy technology—solar and biomass that eliminates the use of firewood. In addition, the MDI is promoting a new method of growing coffee that includes forest habitat as part of the coffee farm called the Integrated Open Canopy method. This mode of production has been proven to increase coffee yields, while supporting forest habitat and the biodiversity that forest support. Cloud forests are also very important in mitigating global warming, as they remove carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere.
We travelled to Honduras to meet with these innovative coffee plantations who were employing this new technology and were lucky enough to meet Mayra Manzanares, who is a pioneering leader in bringing communities together into a cooperative to grow and sell this new type of coffee. Mayra has worked in coffee plantations her whole life and has a refined knowledge of how to produce the best coffee beans however, we learned that her team needed help to get the word out about her coffee and to boost interest in ‘solar-dried coffee’.
We realized that this was our opportunity to help.
Through our connections in the USA and through our experience in international business, we decided to create a brand that represented Mayra’s coffee, our values and took aim at the global climate change problem. And through this, Don Maslow Coffee was born.
We encourage you to learn more about our coffee, and the benefits that come from it through the following recommended links, and hope that you will be inspired enough to join us on fulfilling our mission.
Thanks for reading!
Vanessa & Rushu :)