ONLINE COFFEE COMPANY BREWS UP $30,000 A MONTH
Tired of the guilt associated with consuming coffee while pregnant and breast-feeding, a biomechanical engineer creates a line of coffee bean options that keep moms happy and babies healthy.
Mommee Coffee is not your average cup of joe, and cofounder Emilie Simmons is not your average entrepreneur. She’s a coffee lover, a biomechanical engineer at a medical device company, and a mother. Oh, and a couple of years ago, she set out to develop coffee options for moms everywhere.
It’s a hustle that grew out of a need—because coffee is serious!
It all began when Emilie, at eight months pregnant, was planning a trip from San Francisco to San Diego. Already a parent to a two-year-old, Emilie could imagine the misery of a long car ride with a toddler. The idea of having one on her pregnant lap while ying wasn’t any better, so she welcomed a solo driving adventure while her wife ew with their son to their destination.
In Emilie’s words, the alone time “was like finding a unicorn.” It gave her an opportunity to do some thinking, and her thoughts were fixated on coffee. She’d already been researching the impact of caffeine on a baby, both during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. Emilie came to the realization that for many women, drinking coffee during pregnancy is influenced as much by emotion and guilt as it is by data.
This led to her big idea: to source and roast delicious coffee specially geared to the unique needs of moms and moms- to-be. That blissful, eight-hour unicorn voyage provided the creative foundation of what would become Mommee Coffee.
Emilie connected with her friend, Sharon, who, after spending time in a cooperative community in Costa Rica, realized she wanted to shift her focus toward women’s health. When Emilie mentioned Mommee Coffee, Sharon thought it was an intriguing idea and the perfect name.
They each invested $15,000. As they explored the world of coffee and developed their product, they focused on low acidity, as well as varying levels of caffeine. The nished product is organic, low acid, and offered in four caffeine levels: full caffeine, one-half ca , one-quarter ca , and decaf. Their coffee is decaffeinated using a water-processing technique rather than chemicals, to be on the safe side for pregnancy and breast-feeding.
A few months prior to public launch, Emilie and Sharon had friends and family test their product, website, and shipping process. They took to the streets to spread the word about Mommee Co ee, handing out information at farmers’ markets, baby fairs, and to anyone who would listen.
Two years in, the business was selling approximately $30,000 of coffee each month. Emilie attributes the success to satisfying a true need—not just a need for coffee itself, but a need for moms to feel that it’s okay for them to still want things that were important parts of their lives before they became parents.
In addition to the financial prosperity, one of the best parts of the hustle has been the out-of-the-blue emails from customers telling them how Mommee Coffee has made an impact. For example, one breast-feeding mom wrote to tell them about how her baby’s skin had been constantly breaking out. Realizing it could be from acidic foods, the mom cut out suspect items like orange juice and coffee until there were no more breakouts. When she tried to return to drinking standard coffee, the breakouts returned—but then she tried Mommee Coffee, and her baby’s skin remained healthy.
Since this is a side hustle, Emilie and Sharon have limited bandwidth. They like the idea of doing more local events, but want to be mindful of spreading themselves too thin.
The partners may expand further at some point, but for now the priority is to continue spreading the word about their current mission. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your precious caffeinated (or one-quarter caffeinated) ritual.