On January 2018 I interviewed Moses Mbai for the first time when he talked about school family, in July I had another opportunity to talk with the Texas Southern University Business Management graduate.
Finding his true love in his cup of coffee every morning it wasn’t long before Moses found his purpose which is 5th Generation Coffee. An online coffee company he founded in September 2018. Ironically this marked one year of the passing of his beloved mother Angelia Bradley.
However not having to look too far, coffee runs in the bloodline of his family. Moses great grandfather purchased a 200 plus acre farm in Nairobi, Kenya generations ago, and the rest is history. Coffee is something that connects him with his family even being thousands of miles apart. Everyday Moses grandfather would put his blood, sweat and tears into their family farm and business. Moses mentioned his family as his inspiration which is how the name 5th Generation Coffee came about.
I wanted to pay homage to my great granddad, grandfather all the generations that came before to help make this dream a reality. I also wanted to carry the torch which is what I’m doing it my way and my terms. I couldn’t be happier.
– Moses Mbai
Check out his interview below:
Hey Moses! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey guys! I’m happy to be doing this interview with you! I’m Moses the new kid on the block in the coffee industry.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
Each day consist of waking up praying before I get my day started. My day usually starts around 5 to 6 am to work out. I’ll have breakfast which is usually my most unhealthiest meal of the day or ill have a protein shake lol. Then I’ll post content to my social media pages. After that it’s pretty much meetings, planning with my team for a couple of projects we are working on.
What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
Texas Southern University and I studied Business Management.
When did your love for all things coffee begin?
It began with my mom. She would wake up and drink Instant Folgers Coffee and it would smell so good I was about 19 when she made me a cup that was so good!!! From then I was hooked and practically drank it every day since then.
You are about to launch the first black owned online coffee company in Texas, how does that make you feel?
Its fulfilling I remember when I sat out to do this and got serious about entering the coffee business. I would do so much research but I quickly realized there was no diversity in this industry. Pretty much everyone looked a certain way. So I knew then that I wanted to be the change. I’m happy about being the first but I certainly don’t want to be the “only” one. I more people of color enters this market.
Tell us more about “5th Generation Coffee” and what made you start the business?
I’ve always loved coffee. It’s something I drink every day I can’t go without it. It was my trip to Kenya when I had a chance to see all aspects of the business that’s when I fell in love and knew I wanted to start my own line. I loved being involved on the farm, conducting the business meetings, creating marketing strategis I literally do everything I love it!
What does it take to start a startup business in the United States?
A lot of research! It’s not as hard as some people may think however, the internet has made knowledge and resources so accessible. Which is a blessing everything you need to know or want to find out is somewhere on the Internet I guarantee you that. If not it’ll guide you into the right direction of someone who does.
Will you say your recent trip to Kenya gave you the skills plus motivated/inspired to start up “5th Generation Coffee”?
Absolutely, my family is the inspiration behind this all. They’ve been in the industry for generations. I had the opportunity to tour our families farm. Get educated on the industry like none other. My family has given me 100 percent support and I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to carry the torch to build my own company.
How is your scholarship fund you set up “Mbai Equality Scholarship” working out so far?
We’ve just made 2 years so that’s exciting one thing about my trip to Kenya I met so many who’s in need of the assistance of the scholarship program so 2019 I’m looking to expand.
Given your passion for Equality and LGBTQ matters, how as the experience been?
Inspiring to say the least. If anything, I’m inspired by our youth how brave they are to live in their truth at such a young age. I do it for them. Our culture is one I’m forever proud of. Its transgender women, young gay men around the world losing the their lives for simply living their truth. They make this experience much more important to me.
You are a young entrepreneurial minded guy. How do you balance your personal and professional life?
I’m 27 now and I’ve decided to compromise partying, traveling, drinking excessively for my dreams. Right now I choose to focus on my professional life. I’ve partied, traveled, shopped in my early 20s now its time to focus, save money, invest, mostly cut back on a lot of things I’d do in my personal life. Time is of the essences and I rather enjoy those moments in my 30s and 40s. WORK MODE right now.
Looking at your photos from 2014 to now, there as been massive changes and improvements when it comes to fitness, why do you feel need for this?
Working out is something that helps me stay sane. It wasn’t intentional the change it just was necessary for my mental health that came with great benefits. I’m really focusing on what I eat now days because a lot of food these days are slowly but surely killing us.
How often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?
5 days a week, 2 hours max.
What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to starting up a business in the United States?
1. Have faith you can do whatever is your pursing.
2. Build a team you trust and can-do things you can’t. Everyone should be skilled in their area of expertise.
3. Understand the importance of Social Media.
4. Research, ask questions, attend workshops, find a mentor, read books pertaining to your business, get as much free knowledge as possible.
5. Have patience nothing happens overnight.
1. Depend on your family and friends especially for support. This is your vision and brand treat it as such. Take nothing personal.
2. Look at others success or failures and think that will be your destiny. God has blessings just for you.
3. Don’t Give up. It’ll be hard, you’ll cry, people will flake but understand WHY you started this venture.
4. Don’t doubt yourself. If you have a dream it you can do it!!!
5. Don’t let life stop you from pursing your dreams. It’ll never be a “right” moment. Preserve through the pain, failure and doubt.
What would you say is the main misconception the public have about black-owned businesses, especially those in the United States?
The misconception is black owned business are Ghetto. That’s by far the number one misconception. Were just as educated, professional and capable of running a successful business.
Which brands, clients, have you worked with?
I’ve worked and collaborated with some amazing brands such as Nordstrom, MVMT watches, Mcquerry Beachwear, Footaction and so many more coming in 2019!
What has been one of the most memorable jobs to work on?
None man lol the most memorable parts have been departing and going my separate to start my own. Business.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
GQ, Men’s Health, have my coffee brands in several stores would be a dream.
Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
1. As much as I show my body on social media and look overly confident, I’m really insecure about it at the same time.
2. I’m also really shy.
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
Honestly having the courage to start this business. I say that because it’s taken so much faith, courage and strength to do this. Success for me is no longer money or material things its about following your purpose and passion.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Overthinking everything has been my biggest challenge. As well as the world telling me African Americans don’t drink coffee.
You are very active on social media. Do you think it’s important to be online and if so why?
Social media is now the place to start a business period. It’s important because its access to free marketing, meet clients, get feedback on your products. Find your demographic and market I mean the possibilities are endless.
You are from originally from Kenya, but now live mostly live Dallas, Texas. How is that working out for you?
Dallas well Fort Worth/Arlington has been my home I look forward to building up my community and give back more.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
I’m planning another trip to Kenya for Christmas break. Miami, DC, LA are on my list!
How would you describe your style?
My style is definitely mine I dress to what compliments my body. Being that I don’t have the perfect body I know what works for me. Getting clothing tailored really goes a long way.
Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
1. A watch.
2. Earrings (I feel naked without them).
3. Durag – (Before going to sleep it’s a must!!!!)
5. A turtle neck
What are your favorite fashion trends?
I’m definitely into the summer vibes vibrant loud colors Neon’s, Yellows, anything mesh I’m in love with. Sunglasses!
What is your favorite dish?
Chicken, & Shrimp Alfredo
What songs are currently on your playlist?
Da Baby Suge , Megan the Stallion, Cardi B, I’ve been loving Iggy as well!
Apart from business, modelling, Blogging, what other projects are you currently working on?
Real Estate! I got my first property I’m excited about it!!!!!
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
Just Do It! Nothing will ever be perfect the time is now.
Any specific plans for the future?
After the Launch of this business I pray to expand with merchandise.
Any final words?
Give my coffee a chance purchase a bag I promise you’ll fall in love.
Where can we follow you online and on social media?