Total loan: $10,000
Mehrak & Parisa
Berkeley, CA, United States / Food
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A loan helped us expand revenue sources and continue uninterrupted operations during winter months.
Mehrak & Parisa's story
We are originally from Iran and met each other in Toronto, Canada about 11 years ago. Mak grew up on his father’s local tea plantation in Larijan, a town in Northern Iran, and witnessed the functioning of tea plantations from an early age. After Parisa moved to the United States 11 years ago, we both began working in the technology sector, but always had a passion for coffee and local businesses. We hoped to one day establish a business that would give back to local communities and have a positive impact on our planet. We took a trip to Guatemala City, where we were introduced to women farmers and visited coffee farms. We discovered that farmers lose a large chunk of their profit to the middleman in coffee production. Moreover, these women struggle to balance their family dynamics with their source of living. We became inspired to help empower these women to improve their quality of life and also their home communities. We decided to collaborate with these women directly, and with their support, created a business where these women would be able to retain a higher portion of their income using a farm-to-cup model. After beginning our business online, we established our first flagship store in Berkeley, CA at the beginning of 2019, and hope that we can continue to expand our women’s cooperative network and give more and more women the opportunity to become self-sustainable and improve their home communities, just as Mak’s father aspired to in Larijan.