Coffee might seem like the new trend in a culture where all conversations happen over a cup of tea (!चया) especially in this part of the world. However, coffee has been around since the year 850, and over the years the various ways of consuming coffee has evolved and so has the coffee culture in Nepal. For Mount Strada it all started in 2016, when Ganesh Khati, Raj Kumar Karki and Prayas Thapa started Mount Strada Barista Academy to provide quality barista training through certified professionals. Offering aspiring young people with an opportunity to venture into their own business or equipping them with employable skill as they prepare to study abroad - Mount Strada Barista Academy has paved the way for many aspiring baristas.
Expanding the coffee venture, Mount Strada has successfully ventured into different parts of the coffee value chain from harvesting, roasting, sourcing to selling and distributing both in the domestic and international markets. The company manufactures quality roasted coffee beans that are sourced from local farmers in Gulmi, Palpa and Syanjya region. They also export Nepali coffee to US, Japan and Korea successfully taking the local taste to international households.
Adding to their direct-to-consumer model they also have a quaint café based in New Baneshwor that builds the ambience for the entire coffee experience.
Similar to many other businesses Mount Strada has had a major setback due to COVID-19. With the lockdown, making ends meet for businesses is a steep hill battle. The company is embarking on a recovery journey with plans to expand its business by franchising its products and brand name to multiple cafés around Kathmandu Valley.
Mount Strada is one of the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 MSME Fund Nepal, supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC and FMO – Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, and managed by One to Watch (OTW). Mount Strada was able to secure the interest-free and collateral free loan from Laxmi Bank which was utilized to meet their working capital requirements and also to import Ascaso Coffee Machines from Spain to add to their portfolio. OTW will be supporting Mount Strada to explore franchising models to further their expansion strategy while also guiding them in building their marketing and branding strategy among other tailored interventions.