Rwanda to Baltimore
Matriarch Coffee was inspired by a shared story of four women of African descent – Marie Mukamurenzi (Rwanda), Maame Tebuyaa (Ghana), Betty Mae Harper (USA), and Denise J. Christian (St. Thomas, USVI).
Matriarch Coffee was inspired by a shared story of four women of African descent – Marie Mukamurenzi (Rwanda), Maame Tebuyaa (Ghana), Betty Mae Harper (USA), and Denise J. Christian (St. Thomas, USVI). The four women were at the center of the economic, moral, spiritual and educational lives of the founders of Matriarch Coffee. As the founders discussed their vision in the coffee industry, they all realized that the root of their vision were the women who despite unfavorable circumstances and societal structures, had provided the leadership that allowed for their families’ resilience, and positively affected the welfare of their communities.
Matriarch Coffee was created to honor strong women of equal caliber. Our first coffee offering is brought to you by Ms. Marie Mukamurenzi of Gasharu Farms in Rwanda. Our future offerings will likewise originate from Matriarchs across the coffee belt.
Ernest - Chief Roaster
Maame Tebuyaa, my grandmother, exemplified matriarchy in the rural village of Apedwa, Ghana. She looked after and led a family of over 20 people under one compound. She earned the family leadership from her male siblings who traditionally would assume that role. She oversaw every element of the family’s success, wellbeing, and showed strength during times of tragedy. She was a nurturer to Ernest as one of her many grandchildren and a fighter when land disputes were presented. She did not back down to her male peers/farmers and helped 3 of her children including Ernest’ mother travel abroad; an almost impossible feat at that time. She was truly a Matriarch.
Dulani - eCommerce
Raised by a phenomenal mother, Ms. Christian is the oldest in the house of four girls. Being the eldest carried certain responsibilities and at the age of sixteen while a junior in high school, Ms. Christian enrolled in Upward Bound; a program geared towards getting a college degree through involvement in religious, civic, and recreational activities. Ms. Christian became a working mother while single-handedly raising four children. She attended to their material, mental, social, spiritual needs, also while attending to the health challenges of one child. Topmost in her priorities was raising conscious, independent, and caring children not only in her household, but extending to all of the children she was blessed to teach and mentor as an educator. She took great pride in being able to instill generations of children with the values of education, hard work, determination, and perseverance. This and all else is by the grace and love of God, the traditions of the ancestors and being raised by the village.
Michael - B2B Sales
Betty Mae Harper, a divorced mother of twelve, moved from Disputanta, VA to Baltimore, MD with her three sisters. She taught her children to be God-fearing, independent, stressed the value of education, and made sure that they understood that the family unit was not everything but the only thing. Genevieve was the fifth of the nine girls in the bunch and before remarrying, she raised her children including Michael as a single mother as well. Instilling in them all that her mother taught her and more to ensure that her three daughters and two sons could successfully navigate the streets of Baltimore. Her power is the backbone of Michaels' family. Michael holds deep respect and admiration for her matriarchal leadership. Her teachings has sustained him a lifetime and for that Michael is forever grateful.