We didn’t set out to build a coffee company. When we created Onda Origins, we wanted to build a new way of doing business: one that brings value to the people who had been denied it.
The idea grew out of our experiences on opposite sides of the globe. In Samoa, Scott was passionate about global development, but became disillusioned after a failed aid project had mandated solutions rather than investing in people. In Costa Rica, Paul was leading eco-tours on the edge of Monteverde Cloud Forest when he was introduced to the intricacies of growing coffee. Farmers had found ways to respect the rich environment around them while increasing the quality of their crop, but their businesses were struggling to connect with buyers beyond seasonal tourists. We thought, what if we connected coffee growers and drinkers so all of us together can make coffee more sustainable?
Over brainstorms, cups of coffee, and a lot of beers, we identified consumer marketing of coffee as a confusing proliferation of labeling and certifications -- a lot of talk about sustainability, but the real impact of those cups of coffee wasn’t clear from the ground up.