Coffee talks with Garfield Kerr, CEO of Mokha 1450

Coffee talks with Garfield Kerr, CEO of Mokha 1450

Mokha 1450 curates bespoke luxury specialty coffee experiences for novices and connoisseurs. In this exclusive interview, Garfield Kerr , the firm’s CEO, elaborates on his journey from corporate lawyer to financial expert now working with coffee and his concept, Mokha 1450.


How does Mokha 1450’s commitment to social responsibility influence its sourcing from women-owned cooperatives?

Our founding ethos is based on a CSR platform to support women in coffee. Additionally, most of our coffees are sourced through our direct trade program with women-owned and operated coffee farms and cooperatives. Despite women being involved in 90 percent of the coffee value chain, they represent less than 10 percent of ownership and management globally. Consequently, our CSR program aims to address this disparity through initiatives like building water wells and community projects. Most importantly, our CSR program pays women a much higher price for their products than the market rate.

What’s next for Mokha 1450 in terms of future innovations and expansions?

While Mokha 1450 is highly innovative, we’ve been reserved about most innovations, much to the frustration of our marketing team! Consequently, we plan to engage more with the media to showcase the brand and our innovations. One recent innovation we premiered at World of Coffee was crystal-clear coffee, delving into coffee’s essence by exploring volatile compounds. However, producing this coffee is expensive, so we will focus on lowering the cost to make it accessible to our guests. Additionally, we will highlight partnerships with other luxury brands.

As the recently appointed vice president of SCA, how do you plan to contribute to its mission?

I aim to contribute to the SCA’s mission by leveraging what I have learned in the Middle East and Jamaica, my homeland. Additionally, I aim to bring the entirety of my unique professional experiences to the table to represent as many regions and people as possible. Moreover, I aim to further the SCA’s goal of enhancing coffee for everyone. I take great pride in my position with the SCA, recognizing its pivotal role in upholding coffee ethics, quality, sustainability and the future. I will work as hard as I can to further the organization’s goals and uphold its values.

What are some of the key trends you’re noticing in the coffee industry?

The key trends for the coffee industry in 2024 are numerous. Firstly, we will see a significant shift to cold coffee beverages. Also, we will witness the continued rise in the popularity of cold brew coffee. Additionally, there will be more alternatives to milk products and the introduction of healthy coffee beverages. Moreover, we recently purchased a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle Maverick machine with the new pure brew technology. This investment ensures that Mokha 1450 will be at the forefront of creating truly unique coffee mocktails and cold beverages. Consequently, this will drive continued innovation, as we strive to keep our clients ahead of what’s next.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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