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How one startup found a supplier who aligned with its mission

Building their network and spending time in Nicaragua led the co-founders of Wize Monkey to a local coffee farmer who was willing to take a chance on their idea.

When Max Rivest and Arnaud Petitvallet came up with the idea for their business, Wize Monkey, they knew they wanted to extend the coffee harvest, which usually only lasts about three months, and create a year-round economy for coffee growers. They would do this by developing a tea made from a typically discarded part of the coffee plant—the leaves—that could be produced during the off-season.

They had the business brains but needed an in on the production side—someone who had a strong policy for treating workers fairly and ethically, took care of the soil and would be willing to try out this new idea. While spending time in Nicaragua, they connected with Enrique Ferrufino, a third-generation coffee farmer who would help bring their vision to life.

Listen in as Rivest recalls how they connected and dishes out advice on building a mission-based brand.

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