Today's protagonist is a Rwandan coffee entrepreneur, Epiphanie Mukashyaka. She is a person who has greatly contributed to the development of coffee in the southern region of Rwanda, so it is a name that you will often come across while drinking Rwanda coffee.
1994 is a year that will remain a terrible memory for all Rwandans. Because it was the year of the Rwanda genocide, which is called the worst atrocity in modern history. Nearly 800,000 people are known to have been slaughtered, and Epiphanie‘s husband also died at that time.
After that, many people have left the ruined village, but Epiphanie chose to stay and rebuild her family's coffee business and along with it the local community. Using her own farm as a stepping stone, in 2004 she founded a coffee company called Buf Café. The company's name, Buf, is said to be derived from ‘Bufundu’, the old name of the area where her first mill was located.
Buf Café managed only 500 farmers when they first started. As the company grows, the number of processing plants they have increases. One of them is the Umurage processing plant introduced by Bean Brothers last year, and one other is the Nyarusiza processing plant where this coffee is produced. Currently, Buf Café has a total of 4 processing plants, and the number of local farmers managed has increased from 500 to 7,000. How would she have known that a small farm she could have abandoned and left could develop into such a large company?
The life of Epiphanie Mukashyaka, who overcame the tragedy of Rwanda's modern history and growing her company Buf Café, is itself a history of coffee development in southern Rwanda. If you like Rwanda coffee, remember the name 'Buf'.