In this article, the Spotlight is on our Founder - Tawanda Choruma. Born and raised in Zimbabwe before migrating to the United Kingdom, eventually settling in Switzerland where travelling around the world is regularly on the agenda.
In his own words:
I grew up with a love for the night sky, nature and being in the great outdoors. However, it felt like I could only truly enjoy that passion after I moved to Switzerland with the Alps a stone's throw away.
After several trips to Zimbabwe in my adulthood, which we could never really afford while growing up, it finally occurred to me that the torch had now been passed onto my generation, and we had to make the changes we wanted to see just before the Covid-19 pandemic kicked off fully, and everything ground to a halt.
With more time than I knew what to do with during the pandemic, I started planning and working on ideas and generally thinking about what I could do to change the narrative of my birth country and continent. That was before I stumbled onto this titbit of information from www.perfectdailygrind.com stating that "In the early 1990s, Zimbabwe was a recognized coffee producer. The country's sector supported more than 20,000 farmers, who produced more than 15,000 tonnes of coffee a year.... Today, production volumes in Zimbabwe remain well below their peak of a few decades ago, at a little more than 500 tonnes per year.... However, thanks to a number of public and private sector initiatives, Zimbabwe's coffee industry is on the mend." Knowing that more than half the people I knew liked and drank coffee, I started on a journey to bring your average person what I later understood to be high quality specialty Zimbabwean roasted coffee that is super difficult to find.
Once the idea of sharing this coffee with the world became a plan, the journey that followed can only be described as crazy and wild... From finding high-quality coffee in Zimbabwe, establishing a logistics route between Zimbabwe and Switzerland (which didn't exist at the time), getting it roasted (funny story about that which involves 1kg of Green Coffee, a roastery, and me not even knowing what Arabica or Robusta was), packaging the coffee, creating an eCommerce site that accepts all the major bank cards including the Swiss digital payment method Twint....
Going through all that only made it an even more incredible journey as we are well into the execution of our mission statement now, which is to change the narrative about Zimbabwe and Africa in general.
Why coffee? Because I think there is nowhere on this planet you can go to, and the people there won't know what coffee is, not to mention the process to get you that amazing freshly ground heaven in your cup which on the outside seems so simple but has so many layers to it. Once I realized that, I just couldn't resist looking behind the curtain, and what a view it was. This journey was also helped by the fact that high-quality coffee generally grows in amazing areas to do hikes in, win-win for me if you know anything about me and what I do during my free time.
Significant credit to Zimbabwean farmers, even after such a long downturn and losing a lot of the knowledge built in the 1990s, they are still capable of producing coffee that scores so highly on the SCA grading system.
As our business has grown and evolved, we're excited to announce that we're now officially Zimkaffee Switzerland GmbH, and our focus has shifted to sourcing and roasting African Specialty Coffee, not just Zimbabwean coffee.
We're proud to work with coffee farmers across the African continent to bring you unique and exceptional coffee experiences that showcase the diverse flavors and terroirs of African coffee. Our mission remains the same, to change the narrative about Africa and promote the high-quality coffee produced by African farmers.
We are also committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing, ensuring that our coffee is not only delicious but also supports the livelihoods of the farmers who produce it. We believe that the future of coffee lies in the hands of those who grow it, and we're honored to be a part of that journey.
Thank you for supporting us on this journey so far, and we look forward to continuing to share the amazing flavors of African coffee with you