We’ve all heard of farm-to-table, but this Bahrain-born business is bringing speciality coffee direct from the grower to your cup.

If you’re a coffee lover who hasn’t heard of Beanboat, well, every day’s a school day. We’re here to tell you about a group of young Bahrainis who work directly with farmers in Colombia to bring their product here, where it’s roasted and distributed straight to companies, cafés and you.

Co-Founder Saleh Sharif explains: “It started when a friend from Colombia, by the name of John Ciro, told us about his uncle, by the name of Hector. A coffee farmer in Colombia, he was having a hard time making ends meet in spite of working long and ruthless hours. We started the company to help out a friend’s uncle, leading to other coffee farmers joining our community.”

That was back in 2018 and, since then, more farmers have come on board and Beanboat now supplies a select range of coffees and accessories. The company is Rainforest Alliance-certified and organic beans are available. The coffee is sourced in Colombia and everything from marketing to roasting is done through this small team.

Saleh continues: “We don’t have any suppliers, so to speak, we deal with the coffee farmers directly. Our team in Colombia comes from coffee farming families and has a deep understanding of different varieties of speciality coffee. Beanboat’s business model shifts the profiting entity from the middle man to the farmer, whilst providing a cheaper end product to the consumer, owing to a smooth post-harvest process carried out by our team in Colombia. “We have six team members, four are working in Bahrain and two in Colombia.

“We launched Beanboat in early 2018 and, for about a year after that, we tried out different business models to nail the one that worked in favour of the farmers and was also feasible for our customers to use.”

In 2019 Beanboat offered its first subscription service in Bahrain allowing offices and individuals to pre-order their box of deliciousness right to their breakfast tables. And, all along, the welfare and profit of the farmers has stayed as the founding principle.

And there’s more to come. “We are currently working on our marketplace platform that facilitates easy and detailed filtering of coffee specifications and allows documents and traceable electronic quotations straight from the farmers. This will allow our B2B buyers to keep a track of the harvest timelines, the varieties available at each farm, the prices, and the expected quantity of the product. It will help the buyers book or buy their products straight from the farms and avoid all the extra costs and charges added by the middle man, helping the farmers make the most of the profits. We’re streamlining the process of coffee trade through an online platform that offers efficient and directtrade capabilities.

“We’ll soon be expanding our operation in other coffeegrowing origins and will also be expanding our operations into Saudi Arabia by the end of the year.” ✤