Calgary's only female and LGBTQ+ roasting team founded Motherlode coffee to make a difference by donating to charities that support gender equality.
Meet the women behind Motherlode Coffee Roasters - Frieda Cornejo and Karissa Savage. Born in two different countries and cultures, they are united by their love for coffee. Their passion for purpose speaks through as they talk about their journey and dream of uplifting fellow women.
RC: Why did you decide to launch Motherlode Coffee amid the pandemic?
Frieda & Karissa: We owned a coffee trailer in Calgary before and had plans of eventually getting into the roasting business. But when the pandemic hit, we changed gears. Fortunately, it gave us the gift of time, and despite the challenges, Motherlode Coffee was born. The lockdown allowed us to develop our coffee business, perfect our roasts, and start telling everyone what makes our coffee so unique.
RC: Tell us about your coffee journey and the beans you roast.
Frieda & Karissa: We are both passionate about coffee, and so we would go to different coffee shops to explore flavour profiles. It just became 'our thing' as a couple. For me (Freida), being born and raised in Peru, coffee was very much part of my culture. I always dreamt of starting my own coffee business. However, it took a lot of trial and error and a lot of cupping sessions to train our pallets. Especially for me (Karissa) since I could never drink black coffee. Our main source of coffee is from Peru. We roast our beans in a way that brings out unique and natural flavours from those beans. The roast profiles of our coffees range from light to dark, giving our customers a range of options.
RC: Motherlode Coffee focuses highly on social responsibility. Can you elaborate on that and the organizations you support?
Frieda & Karissa: We wanted to create something that gives back to the community and makes an actual difference in the world. As women entrepreneurs, we find ourselves fortunate to have endless opportunities in Canada and the idea of 'women helping other women' resonated with us.
I (Frieda) always wanted to find a way to help people back in my country. So we partnered with Peruvian Hearts, an organization that empowers Peruvian women through post-secondary educational opportunities.
Our 'No Closets' Pride blend supports End of the Rainbow Foundation - a nonprofit in Calgary with a mission to improve socio-economic conditions for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions (SOGIE).
RC: What's your favourite way to brew coffee?
Frieda & Karissa: We like experimenting with the Pour-over method at home. We also like the AeroPress quite a lot, so that's one of our go-to as well.
RC: What are you roasting right now at Motherlode?
Frieda & Karissa: We are creating some exciting blends for the holidays and the New Year. One is called 'The Misses Claus' because she runs the North Pole (and we love boss women). We are working with some Medium-Dark Peruvian beans to create that rich, full-bodied flavour with a hint of nutmeg.
RC: Any tips for home-brewers?
Frieda & Karissa: For the pour-over method, 1gm:16gm (coffee to water ratio) is our ideal way to brew. Although, you can experiment and have fun with the ratio depending upon how light or dark your coffee is. It is also essential to dial in your grind size. That can make all the difference.
RC: What does the future look like for Motherlode Coffee?
Frieda & Karissa: We want Motherlode to become a household name. We want to grow the brand nationally and have a presence in big chain grocery stores. We also hope to empower women through our mission to bring about social change. We want to encourage more women to follow their dreams and hope that Motherlode can inspire them in any way.
MotherLode represents more than just delicious coffee by making a difference one bag at a time. Each pack of Motherlode Coffee tells a story worth passing on.