Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mubarak Alherwi, co-founder and CEO of Mazaj Coffee, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Selling Coffee from the original land of Mocha, produce one of the most vibrant & rare specialty Yemeni coffees. Our Customers are, Coffee lovers.
The coffee Mazaj brings goes through a minimum of 30 military checkpoints. Starting from the northern part of Yemen to the southern part. Then, the coffee travels to Oman. Finally, the coffee travels across the world to Canada. Unlike any other product, the most challenging part is the logistics of the Yemeni Coffee, and we are up to the challenge to bring Yemeni coffee out to the rest of the world. Everybody in Mazaj is very proud of the Yemeni coffee culture. They feel it is their duty to contribute to making this world a better place. It starts with helping coffee farmers in Yemen and ends with bringing Yemen's legendary coffee to all coffee lovers around the world.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a Canadian with Yemeni background. I am a passionate serial entrepreneur, and venture investor focused on building strategic partnerships. I continuously look at defeat as an opportunity for success and take the initiative to convert bright ideas into new ventures.

With my Coffee business, it all started with a bad cup of coffee in a coffee shop, me and my partner Mohammad wanted to enjoy a good cup of coffee, but we couldn't. This took us back to our memories of the coffee we grew up drinking, the legendary Yemen Mocha coffee. From that moment, an idea sparked to share one of the best coffees in the world with our community.

I found out that nothing satisfies me other than developing new relationships, solving problems, and contributing to the overall growth of a business. And watching my customers enjoy their morning with a great cup of coffee is what keeps me motivated.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to train many farmers to produce a great cup of coffee. And be able to distribute my product to many countries around the world.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Take whatever amount of resources you think you need to start a business: time, money, etc., and try to double it. Even with a well-thought-out business plan, always expect the unexpected in addition, when your business gets to a certain point where you have to decide if you’re going to make some big moves, timing plays an important role in how the strategy will be implemented.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. It’s important to be aware of your competition.
  2. Keep emotional aside and think logically.
  3. Never say this is not the right time to start. Just Start and Enjoy the ride - There will never be a right time.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yemeni farmers monopolized the world coffee trade for 200 years, shipping tons of sterile beans from the port of Mokha by boiling the green beans before selling them to international merchants. Twenty thousand tons of Yemeni coffee was shipped through the Port of Mocha to different regions in the world. The monopoly of Yemeni coffee was eventually broken at the beginning of the 17 hundreds. The famous name of Mocha was left in every coffee shop across the globe. It is very important to understand the Word Mocha is actually a port in Yemen.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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