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“We’re also launching a really special project, more on the mission-driven end of what we do, which is a food systems resiliency fund. It will be in collaboration with a local nonprofit SBCFAN, a local food justice non profit in Santa Barbara. We’re rolling out a grant program to champion projects within the realms of food justice, food sovereignty, and agroecology. We’re so excited about what’s to come.”

Forbes Magazine

October 27, 2023
Dave Knox
Senior Contributor

Inspired by their own morning routines, Hannah Mendoza and Roger Coppola co-founded Clevr Blends. As pioneers in the better-for-you coffee category, Hannah and Roger have reshaped classic cafe-style drinks like Matcha, Chai, and Coffee lattes, and infused them with adaptogens, functional mushrooms, and better-than-barista ingredients. Along the way, they have been named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things two years in a row and brought in notable celebrity investors. I sat down with Hannah to learn more about her journey as an entrepreneur, what inspired Clevr, and how the challenges of a CPG entrepreneur have changed in recent years.

Dave Knox: You are seven years into the journey with Clevr. What inspired you to create Clevr and lead it to where it stands today?

Hannah Mendoza: I have a long-standing passion for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry and food systems, after cutting my teeth at college working at an incredible brand that sourced direct-trade superfoods and herbs from farmers using regenerative and permaculture-informed practices.

Whilst there, I was drinking regular coffee from coffee shops and loved the energy it gave me, but it was 50/ 50 whether I was going to feel superhuman, or an overstimulated mess. We had access to every powder, herb, and adaptogen under the sun and we ritually gathered each morning to make these crazy, 10-ingredient latte concoctions. I noticed a marked difference in my mood, stress levels, and sleep vs coffee—the light bulb moment for me!

…interview continues on

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