Vancouver cafe owner serves coffee, humanity

Mbuya was born into the Chaga tribe in Tanzania, where coffee farming is an important source of income for many locals. Many small coffee growers, including Mbuya’s grandparents, have been growing coffee since European colonization in the 1800s and 1900s.

“My family owns land and they grow the coffee,” he said.

Seeking a degree, Mbuya moved to California to attend Chaffey College in 2009. He earned his undergraduate degree in computer engineering and his master’s degree in cybersecurity, and he enlisted in the United States Navy, working in the combat engineer battalions, he said. Mbuya has been deployed to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa to help build bridges and buildings in combat zones, he said.

“One thing I’ve learned is that a lot of people have helped me along the way,” he said. “It strengthened my desire to help others.”

While stationed in Texas, Mbuya flew to Washington to visit relatives, and he “fell in love with this place”, he said. “You have all the seasons and the people are really nice.”

Founding of Richland Hub

Mbuya decided to move to Vancouver in 2014, and in 2018 he founded Richland Hub, named after the “rich land” in Tanzania where almost anything they plant will grow, he said. At first, the business was online only.

About Byron G. Fazio

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