Not many people can turn down a freshly brewed cup of delicious coffee. And Laure Lemboumba is the founder of Golden Made Kafé is betting one people starting their day off with a cup of her coffee.
Golden Made Kafé is a small coffee business based in Southeast Texas, with headquarters in Houston. For more than five years, Golden Made Kafé has been developing exclusive blends inspired by French recipes. The company, which has a subdivision in Gabon, works with producers and importers from South and Central America.
The company’s best-sellers are the Golden Hazelnut, Sweet N’ Pecan, and Breakfast Blend. The products of the café are a blend of different cultures, African, American, and French.
Lemboumba, who originally hails from Gabon in Central Africa, fell in love with coffee about a decade ago. She moved to France at a young age with her family. She attended the University of Technology in Roanne, France, where she got my degree in Technology in Industrial Logistics, Quality, and Organization and was awarded the Young Creator of a National Production Unit in 2007.
“Due to my business ambition, I decided to broaden my skills by adding international market language, English. So, I moved to Houston, Texas (US) to go further into my education. In 2014, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from the University of Houston-Downtown,” she says. She graduated in 2014.
Her love for coffee began when she started to work for a coffee manufacturing plant in Houston about six years ago. Once Lemboumba got a taste of the coffee business, she realized she wanted to be a major part of it.
Lemboumba launched Golden Made Kafé in 2019 after two years of working on her concept. In 2020, the company is certified and national recognition as a Women’s Business Enterprise Star, a national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
Laure Lemboumba spills the beans about the coffee business to TNJ.com.
TNJ.com: You were recently Certified By the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. How did that come about and what does it mean to you?
Laure Lemboumba: WBENC’s national standard of certification is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women.
By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs.
This is actually an amazing opportunity to expand our business market and being nationally recognized as a Women’s Business Enterprise.
TNJ.com: Why coffee?
Lemboumba: In the beginning, I was not a huge coffee drinker but after seeing what it takes to get a single cup of coffee and how it could make a difference in someone’s day. I knew I wanted to be an actor in that industry.
TNJ.com: Where is your coffee sold?
Lemboumba: We are an online coffee supplier providing a variety of coffee products inspired by American, French, and African recipes. We launched our coffee brand, Golden Made Kafé, to give our customers a productive day while discovering an immersive experience behind their cup of coffee. We sell our products through two distinct channels of distribution: direct consumers at goldenmadekafe .com and local Houston supermarkets such as Phoenicia Specialty Foods
TNJ.com: How did you come up with the concept of offering exclusive coffee blends inspired by American, French, and African recipes?
Lemboumba: When I used to work for the coffee plant, I really enjoyed the work environment: you can literally depict how coffee brings all together to accomplish an ultimate goal. This concept talks to me… that there is an unique story behind each cup of coffee.
That unique story could be based on diversity, culture, quality, and exchange. At the end of the day, we are happy after drink our universal Golden coffee cup.
In addition, I feel like coffee represents myself: I was born in Africa, raised in France, and am living in USA. Culture is gold so is Golden Made Kafé!!!
TNJ.com: How have you survived as a business during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Lemboumba: I started focusing on developing a sales plan in January 2020.
Due to the pandemic, I had to recently change my business model to sell our products to direct consumers and local supermarkets.
Our Gross Margins are about 44 percent of our revenue. In the beginning, your margins will be quite impressive because your company does not have a large workforce and other substantial overhead expenses. This is why as a sole entrepreneur you need to evaluate carefully your pricing that your customers are willing to pay and you will be able to make profits.
We invest a lot on digital marketing to drive more traffic towards our website and we use email marketing to keep contacts with our customers.
TNJ.com: What are your plans for 2021?
Lemboumba: Thanks to our sales team, we have opportunities to expand our business and sell our coffee products in other states. Also, we will launch specialty coffee products very soon. These specialty coffee products are made with a mix of green beans from West Africa. Finally, our long-term goal strategy will be to open 1 – 2 coffeeshop(s) in Houston and one in Gabon (Central Africa).