BY JANE BLOODWORTH ROWE
VIRGINIA BEACH — Mauricio Mova, founder and owner of Specialty Club Coffee, says that he has always had a passion for coffee, and he found a way to channel his passion into a business.
Mova roasts coffee beans, which he sells online or to restaurants and coffee shops locally and in New Jersey from his headquarters on Horse Pasture Road, and he also hopes to begin marketing in Florida soon. He also manufactures canned coffees from the Virginia Beach location.
The company was incorporated in 2014, Mova said, but it was late 2017 before he acquired the necessary equipment and began roasting the coffee. “I had to learn to use the equipment from the engineers,” Mova said. “You also have to learn how to pack coffee.”
The business model is simple. Mova buys directly from coffee farmers, with beans from specific geographic areas and climates. The coffees are referred to as micro-lots because the region, and the particular farm, where they are grown give them characteristics and subtle flavors that can range from citrus to vanilla and chocolate.
A native of Colombia who spent his summers on the family coffee farm, Mova travels to Colombia in the late winter and early spring – during the coffee harvest season – to buy the beans, which are shipped here through the Port of Virginia.
“We are involved throughout the whole supply chain,” Mova said. “We eliminate the need for a third party.”
For Mova, who moved to the U.S. when he was 20, the business was a dream that he’d held for years.
“I was a banker in New York City for awhile, but I didn’t like that work,” Mova said. “It was a nine-to-five job, and I always wanted to own my own business.”
So, Mova took a job with Moltos Coffee, which sent him back to Colombia for four years. “But I missed the United States,” he said. “This is my home now.”
Upon his return to the U.S. in 2014, Mova founded Specialty Club Coffee. In 2016 he moved here to pursue an MBA from Regent University, which he expects to complete soon.
Although he is both founder and owner of his company, Mova prefers to call himself the “market sales executive” because the job really is in marketing the coffee, he said.
He also plans to hold special events at the Horse Pasture Road location, and he works with local artists to display their works in a shop next to the manufacturing center.
Mova’s wife, Fiona Mova, supports him in the business, but most of her time is spent with their two children, 2-year-old Jay and 1-year-old Abbie.
She may be one of the coffee’s biggest aficionados, though.
“God, I love coffee,” said Fiona Mova, who grew up in Northern Ireland and drank instant coffee before she moved to this country. One taste of Mova’s coffee ruined her appetite for instant, she said.
Marie DePedro of Pourfavor Coffee said customers at her Virginia Beach coffee shop have also responded well to the coffee.
“They love it,” she said. “I could talk all day about it.”
For more information about Specialty Club Coffee, including how to order coffee beans and coffees, visit thespecialtyclub.com.
© 2018, 2019 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC