Minority Couple Bags Deal With Midwest Supercenter for Specialty Indigenous Ethiopian Coffee

Minority Couple Bags Deal With Midwest Supercenter for Specialty Indigenous Ethiopian Coffee

A couple introduces Indiana grocery shoppers to a warm way to start their mornings with a special coffee.

Importin’ Joe’s Ethiopian Coffee, co-founded by Joseph Luten and his wife, Afomia, brought Ethiopian coffee to Mishawaka, Indiana.

According to ABC 57, the coffee was added to Meijer shelves, an American supercenter chain that primarily operates throughout the Midwest, last week and is currently selling in about a dozen other locations.


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“It’s currently at the Grape Road location and this will be our first time going into a large retail chain,” said Luten, president of Importin’ Joe’s Ethiopian Coffee. “It’s a great opportunity for us to give representation for minority on local businesses [sic],” said Luten.

Importin’ Joe’s website shares that the coffee is made of specialty beans from the indigenous lands of Ethiopia, the original location of the Arabica coffee species, the most widely consumed type of coffee in the world.

Luten said he plans on making history by taking their coffee to a national level. “Currently in the country there are only two nationally distributed Black-owned coffee companies out of the tens of thousands of coffee roasters and companies,” said Luten.

“Our goal and our focus is to get to national distribution. We believe firmly that there is importance and significance in representation.”

ABC 57 reported that the company has been a part of Project Impact, an initiative in South Bend providing resources to support minority-owned businesses. Luten said he depends on such support to help the company reach its goals, which include scaling up to a new 4,200-square-foot facility.

“We want to be able to open and expand more opportunity to our communities and to engage minority entrepreneurs and expand the opportunity,” said James Summers a volunteer executive director of Project Impact.

“Our entire goal behind Importin’ Joe’s is to change the trajectory of children who are at risk and children who are homeless so our goal is to cultivate a community that can eventually accommodate 15,000 or more from children and women in Ethiopia, while simultaneously equipping our current ecosystem in our community here as well,” said Luten.

Future plans for the company include supporting the local community, giving back to their roots, and working to expand to more than 60 locations across Indiana and Southwest Michigan by the spring.