Nectar Coffee Roasters has a surprising sense of self-assurance for a start-up. Each coffee in its online shop has an own, intelligent identity, bold and colourful imagery, and it’s all grounded by a commitment to social justice. Behind the scenes, the company’s three young founders – Georgia Lake, Alia Nazri, and Mia Umeko – gather in a city co-working space (Wotso, where Nazri also works) and consult with mentors on a regular basis, learning the business as they go. They have a diverse range of experience, including hospitality, marketing, design, and public relations.
“Working in coffee taught me a lot and allowed me to pick things up rapidly to the point where I was like, ‘I can do this on my own,’” Umeko says. “I had a few mentors and industry insiders who were willing to show me the ropes. However, there are many excellent resources available, such as Scott Rao, who has a number of excellent books… We did, however, have a number of cupping sessions and visited with a lot of vendors who were willing to talk to us and clarify things.”
Nazri adds, “I think we surround ourselves with folks who are highly business-minded.” “And the three of us are all very eager, excited, and passionate about learning, which makes it a lot easier.”
Lake and Nazri were keen to join on board when Umeko approached them with the concept early last year. Since then, the three have been juggling everything from copywriting to design to putting up an online shop to buying and roasting coffee. Lake is more concerned about sales than Nazri.