DALY CITY, December 23, 2019 – It was a serendipitous meeting that led to the successful community screening of Filipino-American owned Mostra Coffee at the TFC Studios this December. Mostra Coffee is an artisan micro-roasting company that sources, roasts, brews, and serves only the highest-grade specialty coffee. It was founded in 2013 by San Diego natives Jelynn Malone, Beverly Magtanong, Sam Magtanong, and Mike Arquines.
Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Henry Bensurto, Jr. introduced Tony Olaes, founder of The Filipino School in San Diego, to ABS-CBN Global Corporate Affairs & Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility Head Nerissa Fernandez, and between Olaes and Fernandez, a new digital series is already in the works, to launch first quarter of 2020. It was through these valuable connections that 2020 Micro Roaster of the Year, Mostra Coffee, came to partner with TFC. Learning about sustainability in their coffee business, Fernandez invited the Mostra team to bring their coffee, do a demo, and show their short film “Mostra Coffee Origins: Our Philippine Journey Back Home Vol.01” to the SF Bay Area community.
The TFC-led Epic Youth Leadership Awards (EYLA) under ABS-CBN International’s Corporate Affairs and Strategic CSR — that recognizes leadership determined to make a difference in the world through efforts that address specific areas of service like entrepreneurship, environmentalism, mentorship, compassion, and culture –- also created an EYLA shortie, produced by the Emmy Award winning tandem of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion and Jeremiah Ysip, on the Mostra team highlighting their values and their culture of giving back to the community, specifically to the coffee growers in Sitio Belis, Benguet in the northern part of the Philippines.
It was a full day for the Mostra Coffee team, that included a tour of TFC headquarters, meeting ABS-CBN International officers and staff, interviews with weekly magazine program Adobo Nation and daily news show BA. The community screening was followed by a Q and A in-studio where co-founders Malone, Arquines, and the Magtanong couple got to share their journey.
Mostra means performance. Beverly Magtanong explains why they picked the name. “I’m a trained opera singer, Jelynn is an actress. Mike is a fine dining chef. So, we know what it feels like to perform at your highest level. For Mostra, a lot of it is performing at our highest level as human beings, and coffee ends up being the vehicle for us to be able to do good.”
Malone adds that “We’re so passionate about this movement and representing Filipinos. Even as an actor that was my goal – to represent Filipino Americans and Filipinos globally in a positive light, and this has just been a platform that has a lot more of an impact because it helps connect with the people.”
Sam Magtanong shares one line from Mostra’s mission statement that stands out for him: “‘Mostra strives to be the reason why people see the goodness in humanity.’ And if I was to give one piece of advice to everybody in general: Be good. There is power in love and gratitude and kindness, and we need more of that in this world.”
For the Mostra founders, their journey continues to surprise and humble them. Arquines affirms that “the journey has been very soul satisfying, in a sense that we get to not only give back to our roots, but also are able to work and collaborate with other creatives that are not in coffee, such as spirits and distilleries, such as chefs and restaurants. We are lucky to be able to have that opportunity to do that every day as our profession.”
As Filipino Americans, the Mostra team wants to be able to give back to the Philippines and make it full circle because their families are from there. Beverly says that “For us to be able to elevate the people in the Philippines by providing sustainable jobs means we are performing at our highest level by trying to connect ourselves back home and back to the people and really giving back and really realizing at the end of the day, we are the same.”