Home Coffee industry Former manager turns Mama Mochas into Coffee Mafia

Former manager turns Mama Mochas into Coffee Mafia



Mama Mocha’s cafe recently got a new owner and a new title. Store manager Ian Oriol recently bought the South Gay Street location from former owner Sarah Gill. Oriol was previously a food supervisor, deputy store manager and general manager of Mama Mocha’s store.

“I have been working in the cafe for four years, managed [Mama Mocha’s] for three years, and I have been working in the restaurant business for seven years, ”said Oriol. “Working in the food and beverage industry is everything I’ve ever known. I’ve been running coffees longer than I brewed. I didn’t even work here as a barista for nine months before I was appointed a full manager.

When he decided to rename the store to create his own brand, Oriol wanted to refer to something familiar to the store. He wanted an open, friendly and unique name, settling on “Coffee Mafia”.

“We chose Coffee Mafia because it was new and different,” Oriol said. “It has allowed me to create my own brand and bring my own touch to it, but is also familiar to people who come to Mama Mocha and Cafe from us over the past 10 years.

The name hadn’t come out of nowhere, Oriol said. The term had been familiar to employees and customers for some time.

“Mama Mocha’s has been calling her staff the coffee mafia for probably as long as we’re open,” Oriol said. “When I started working with Sarah to change the brand as I became [the] new owner and store manager, decided to stick with something familiar.

Coffee Mafia takes an alternative, maverick approach to furnishing its space and deciding its menu, Oriol said. There will be canapes and 40 different flavor options for drinks.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get The Plainsman delivered straight to your inbox.

“If I had to put an environmental label here, I would definitely say the ’90s, the trash, the grunge, the thrifty,” Oriol said. “It’s not candle light furniture, but it’s very comfortable. The idea is that you should be able to come here and hang out with your friends. It’s just a cozy and comfortable little place.

Oriol intends to maintain Mama Mocha’s culture and sense of community while keeping it distinct from other coffee brands. He hopes to make a career in the company and stay local.

“What has held me here and made me want to buy the company and rename it is that we have always been organically this inclusive and welcoming space,” said Oriol. “I have always felt welcome to be myself here, and I think people from all walks of life feel that way when they come here. A lot of the cafes are exclusive. The point is not to find a crowd. specific and sell them coffee, but really to make great coffee and be a space for everyone of all Everyone who comes here should be comfortable and find something cool on the menu to try, because the mafia is for everyone.

Mama Mocha roasting will continue to operate under its original ownership at Opelika.

David Shannon | University writer



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here