The story of Kaveri Coffee Works is a very personal one.
I had been dreaming of starting my own business for over 5 years. While I had some ideas, I felt I had to gain more experience before I could start something on my own.
Three years ago, when my first child, Neel, was born, my life’s priorities and perspective changed completely. Nothing in life prepares you for becoming a mother. What surprised me the most was the shift in my identity from being an independent, free-spirited, gregarious individual to having my entire time, energy, emotions, and plans bound to another human being, and that too one so tiny and totally dependent on me!
I found it really challenging to balance the needs of my family with my own professional aspirations. I wanted a fulfilling life doing meaningful work that fed my soul. It became clear to me that this could not be achieved with a regular 9-to-5 job. The time had come to turn that entrepreneurial dream into a reality. So I quit my job early last year and started exploring different business ideas.
I worked in the field of adventure travel and outdoor education with a particular interest in women’s empowerment. I had several ideas that ranged from an online marketplace for outdoor educators to a cafe and a women’s center. The most challenging part was which idea to choose and how to start.
Now, I was doing all this dream planning at various coffee shops spread across the East Bay, selected primarily based on the quality of their cappuccinos. Because after Neel was born, something else had changed about me... I became a regular coffee drinker. From that first week of sleepless nights, baby gurgles, and muddled thought, one thing was clear - I needed a regular caffeine fix, and it had to be the good kind. Thus began my journey into the world of specialty coffee.
Living in the Bay Area, I was blessed with a wide selection of great coffee roasters and cafes where service was exceptional, baristas were passionate, and menus showcased worldly coffee with tantalizing flavor notes - from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Colombia, Tanzania, and more. I could satisfy my wanderlust just sitting at my local cafe, sipping on delicious coffee, and dreaming up a new business.
But wait… I did not see anyone offering coffee from India. Yes! You read right, coffee grows in India. In fact, India is the 6th largest coffee producer in the world, with over 70% of the coffee grown in Karnataka - my home state. And there, an idea was born!
Exactly a year ago, I started building a coffee business that would reconnect me to my family roots. You see, my father was a 2nd generation coffee roaster and wholesale coffee trader in India. It only seemed fitting that in my quest for a soulful path, I would follow in his footsteps. After all, it was my father that inspired me to pursue my dreams and run my own business. But that’s a story for another time.
On this Mother’s Day, I want to give thanks to all my family that helped me birth Kaveri Coffee Works - my second child. I feel blessed to be born a mother again.
“My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
- Clarence Budington Kelland