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September 13, 2021

I always worried about failing: Cold brew coffee connoisseur starts high-end coffee company

Coffee-fanatic, Ramzi Marji, had always dreamed of owning his own coffee company. COVID-19 gave him the push to start his entrepreneurial adventure. Customised coaching and mentoring helped him set measurable goals to work towards, and now his cold-brew coffee is the talk of the town.

The onset of the COVID‑19 crisis led to dramatic disruptions for business owners in Jordan. Government-imposed border closures, lockdowns, curfews, restrictions on movement, and business guidelines have prevented entrepreneurs from operating as normal for over a year. 

Ramzi, 35, has always been passionate about coffee making. During his studies, Ramzi worked in different coffee houses, devoted himself to reading about coffee-making methods, and constantly explored new recipes and techniques. He started a blog about coffee and tried his experiments on family and friends, who encouraged him to start his own business.

“I have always wanted to quit my job to start my coffee project, but I have two kids, and I always worried about failing,” says Ramzi.

“During COVID-19, I seized the opportunity of the quarantine to intensify my research. I succeeded in reaching the final product that I was always thinking about.”

Finally, having perfected his product through trial and error, and with the support of his friends and family, Ramzi took the plunge and registered his new business. He obtained a patent for his equipment and method of making coffee. However, the journey was not easy.“During the process of establishing Andrew’s Cold Brew, I reached a stage in my journey where I was drowning in the details and lost sight of why I had started my business,” says Ramzi.

Ramzi enrolled in SPARK’s programme supporting business resilience through COVID-19, funded by the Qatar Fund for Development, where he received customised coaching and mentoring sessions. 

“Like guardian angels, SPARK’s partner, Manafeth, contacted me and asked me if I need coaching and mentoring for my business. In the beginning, I thought of workshops with coffee breaks, so I had doubts about joining,” he explains. “I had general goals like everyone does, but the idea to create KPIs even for a small startup like mine made me dive in details to make my goals more specific and mark milestones along the journey, which gave me a sense of achievement,” Ramzi says.

These days, surrounded by delicious, thick coffee aromas, Ramzi’s workshop is filled with a hand-built machine that cannot be photographed until he’s obtained the patent for it. Ramzi has hired associates to support him and is now hiring distributors to grow his business and reach new markets. Ramzi already displays the products in multiple coffee shops and markets in Amman. He has already conducted market research to identify the target market and the plan to expand locally for this year. Moreover, Ramzi plans to target Europe and Golf markets in the long term, “The sky’s the limit,” Ramzi says. It is clear to see (and smell) the passion and mastery that this young entrepreneur has for the roasting process.