Chocoana, made of housemade banana milk and cold brew concentrate. Bibingka Crème Brulee Latte, made with coconut infused milk, espresso, a dash of vanilla and topped with caramelized turbinado sugar and toasted coconut powder. Ghost Bear Espresso Blend, an espresso blend featuring direct trade coffee from the Philippines.
These are just some of Mostra Coffee Inc.’s best-sellers. And, part of the reason the Carmel Mountain Ranch roaster was named the “Roaster of the Year” in the Micro Roaster category by Roast Magazine for 2020, according to co-founder and Chief People Officer Sam Magtanong. The celebrated company, founded in 2013 and with a location at the Carmel Mountain Ranch Retail center, is slated to open its second brick-and-mortar cafe at the 4S Commons Town Center in 4S Ranch in December.
“Mostra strives to be the reason people see the goodness in humanity,” he said. “Being named Roaster of the Year in the Micro Roaster category by Roast Magazine for 2020 is a testament to the relentless pursuit of this shared vision to make a difference in local and global communities and a challenge to stay true to its mission, vision and values and continue to deliver a unique and unmatched customer experience by inspiring performance to the highest level.”
Mostra, meaning “exhibit, show, performance” in Italian was founded by Magtanong, along with business partners Jelynn Malone (co-chief visionary officer), Mike Arquines (chief innovation officer) and Beverly Magtanong (chief visionary officer). It has a total of 22 local employees and seven-figure annual revenue that has grown 260% year-over-year, according to Magtanong.
After traveling to the Phillippines for charity work, building homes in poor communities, co-founders Beverly Magtanong and Jelynn Malone became inspired to start a business in their hometown of San Diego. Their hope was to not only provide something delicious to the community by way of coffee that is sustainable, high quality and innovative, but also provide work for those they met back in Las Islas Filipinas and beyond.
Focus on Performance
What makes the Mostra process special is its focus on performance, hence the name, said Sam Magtanong. From calibration to communication to experimentation and consistency, Magtanong said the quartet strives to constantly “push each other to a higher level of performance.”
“The nerve-wracking and fun part” of the process is the experimentation portion, said Magtanong. ‘“Can we make this or that roast better? Does this bean roast better under a different roast theory?’ Of course, we have to repeat our successes or they are worthless. Many roasters touch on these four and other crucial aspects of a roasting program, but constantly striving to improve” is what drove Mostra to the Roaster of the Year honor, he said.
A cup of Joe at Mostra can range in price between $4.75 and $5.25, while a 14oz bag of coffee can cost from $16 to $20. Coffee beans used at Mostra are sourced from around the world, including Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Costa Rica, Columbia, Indonesia, Guatemala and, of course, the Philippines, he said.
In the future, Magtanong said Mostra hopes to increase production and wholesale accounts in addition to growing its presence locally, first through the opening of its second store, and, then through the promotion of their recently-released canned/bottled cold brew. In addition, Mostra will continue to grow its membership program and it is currently working on launching an instant coffee product, slated to hit shelves in January.