WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) – Waterville is now home to the first coffee roaster in town.
Churchill Elangwe is the owner. He said all beans are carefully selected to ensure quality.
“Coffee for a change.”
That’s exactly what Churchill Elangwe set out to do when he started Mbingo Mountain Coffee.
“We roast it, grind it and pack it in Waterville, Maine,” Elangwe said.
Churchill, who grew up around coffee farms in Cameroon, said he developed a love for coffee and saw firsthand the work involved in growing it.
“People, the farmers work really hard and don’t really get anything out of their produce,” he said.
He knows he wants to make a difference. He said he got the opportunity early last year when he quit his job as an engineer of 13 years to start pursuing his life goals.
“I went to Rwanda, I went to Ethiopia, I went to Cameroon, I went to these countries. I met farmers and I made connections with them.” ’s coffee beans come from smallholder farmers in Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia who grow fewer than 300 trees.
“The coffee they are harvesting using machines is not industrial coffee. This coffee is picked by hand by the farmers to ensure the ripeness to ensure the highest quality coffee,” he said.
From there, it was shipped to Maine, where Churchill roasted the beans according to the needs of his customers. For him, it’s all about consistency.
“When you try our coffee for the first time, we want you to taste the same next time,” says Elangwe.
Part of his goal is to educate his community.
“A lot of people don’t know how coffee is processed or even where it comes from,” Elangwe said.
The other part is helping the farmer get a percentage of his sales.
“Most of these people, they work really hard. Even though they’re working hard and producing, most of them can’t educate their kids,” he said.
The business went live a month ago, and Holy Cannoli in Waterville is already serving coffee.
He looks forward to serving Maine, which he has called home for over a decade.
“Very motivated to actually serve my community with coffee that I believe in and know where it comes from,” he said.
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