NEW ORLEANS —
The port of New Orleans is the largest importer of coffee in the United States.
Full of international flavor, there’s no shortage of options, but one growing brand is also making a big difference globally.
There’s a familiar face taking his shot at the coffee game.
“As a coffee lover, someone who loves coffee and someone who comes from the continent of Africa, knowing that my homeland produce some of the best coffee in the world, especially the arabica coffee, I felt like it was time to get in the coffee business and coffee trade,” Dikembe Mutombo said.
NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo tipped off a new venture, Mutombo Coffee, last fall; however, it’s much more than just business.
“I really want to help those woman who are fighting every day to make sure they get equal opportunity, equal fair in the coffee industry.”
Coffee farmers across the world, and in Mutombo’s native Democratic Republic of the Congo, are the backbone of the industry, but a lack of diversity is still an issue.
“There’s not enough minority people who have been representing the coffee industry,” Mutombo said. “There’s not Africans who are in the coffee industry who represent or who are being invited. There’s not many African bankers are in the coffee industry, so I felt it was important for me to be a part of this.”
In New Orleans, one of the most diverse cities in America, Mutombo teamed up with a local partner to help roast and distribute his coffee nationwide.
“It’s amazing all the people across the country that are placing orders,” Bob Arceneaux said.
Orleans coffee owner Bob Arceneaux works with several specialty and private label coffee brands, navigating the logistics from port to local shelves.
“Someone who can tell me ‘Dikembe I can make your coffee do this or taste like this,’ it doesn’t come easy, so I’m enjoying it,” Mutombo said.
Arceneaux added, “He’s doing a great job. And he’s going to do a lot for the coffee farmers in his home country. Where most people don’t even think about it, so he’ll bring a lot of attention and help improve the quality of loves for those coffee farmers there.”
As Mutombo Coffee grows, Dikembe is now expanding his business playbook with even bigger goals.
“We’re producing our coffee out of New Orleans, we’re selling it in the U.S. right now. But the goal is to take it internationally. And we are working on that. In the next three to four months, we plan to be in the U.N. and in Dubai.”