Mumma’s Beans founder Maika is a firm believer that happy mums raise happy children, and she understands the importance of mums honouring the things in life that bring them pleasure. For her, that has always included drinking good coffee! She wanted to produce a product that coffee-loving mums could enjoy without guilt, even while pregnant or breastfeeding. Mumma’s Beans coffee is about 20% lower in caffeine than regular coffee, is organically grown in Australia without the use of pesticides or chemicals, and tastes delicious! Their mission is to “empower mums to feel confident and guilt-free about enjoying the things they love and that are important to them – in a conscious way”. Here, Maika talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Mumma’s Beans and her business journey so far.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
If you’ve been pregnant, I’m sure you remember feeling overwhelmed by all the information about what you could – and mainly, shouldn’t – eat or drink.
Even though no studies have proven that drinking coffee in moderate amounts (1 – 2 cups daily) during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is actually harmful for mum or baby, I still felt guilty about enjoying my ‘indulgence’.
I know a lot of mummas don’t drink any coffee during that time or drink only decaf just to be safe, but I looked forward to my daily cup so much. For me, it was more than just having a coffee; it was allowing myself to take a break from working, folding the laundry or generally #mumlife.
So, with Mumma’s Beans, I wanted to create a product that wasn’t just another high-quality coffee that smells and tastes amazing. I wanted a product that coffee-loving mums could feel confident about and would enjoy without the guilt, even while pregnant or breastfeeding.
That’s why Mumma’s Beans is naturally about 20% lower in caffeine than regular coffee. It is also organically grown without any pesticides or chemicals.
The other driver for starting Mumma’s Beans was that I wanted to raise awareness about Australian grown coffee. Through my corporate job and studies, I had learned a lot about the global coffee supply chain. I knew about the devastating impact growing and harvesting coffee has on the environment and the often-underpaid farmers tens of thousands of kilometres away from us. What I didn’t know was that we actually grow a small but high-quality amount of delicious Arabica beans right here in NSW and Queensland. Why couldn’t I find it in any shops around us?
Being able to visit and work directly with local coffee growers on the north coast of NSW to create Mumma’s Beans was just so inspiring, I couldn’t wait to launch. I made up everything as I went, not knowing the first thing about setting up a business, marketing, social media or anything. The only thing I was sure about was my product and I just wanted to share it with the world.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I had the chance to take part in a local pregnancy and baby expo before I had even launched my online shop in early December last year. It all happened really quickly, I had literally just ordered my bags and labels and I remember feeling so unprepared. I received such encouraging feedback at the expo, and it was a real whirlwind to all of a sudden be part of this wonderful community of female entrepreneurs. I sold out of my Australian grown coffee and got a couple of wholesale customers on the same day.
Having said that, I still feel like I’m at the beginning. Since this is my first passion project, I wanted to do it all myself and learn how to do it before thinking about outsourcing. The downside of doing everything yourself is that things have taken a lot longer than my optimistic self would have imagined at the start of this journey. It also means I have to redo a lot of things that I just tried doing without training and on a budget; for example, my webpage and photos are two things I wished I had invested in from the start. But I’ve learnt so much along the way, and not getting everything right straight away is okay.
I feel starting a business is a bit like becoming a mum: no matter how much you read and think you know before the baby comes, it still takes a while and lots of doubt before becoming more confident as a new mum – or a new business owner.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Before I launched, I thought I would be selling my coffee mainly online. So, the biggest breakthrough was the amazing community support I received so early on. A few local businesses stocked my product even before I had an online shop – which was the most encouraging feeling for someone like me, who never had her own business or imagined I could do it one day. And it goes beyond stocking my product. I never imagined I would become part of such an inspiring, thriving, warm and supportive community of female business owners – locally, but also online through social media. Running a business is like raising a child. It truly takes a village. Once you realise that and allow help and support – that’s a breakthrough in itself.