FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (KERO_ — Clever Masvimbo was born in Zimbabwe and grew up from a very young age without parents. Now as the head of a coffee company and non-profit, he spends his time working to give back to children and people in need.
Clever owns Black Coffee, a coffee company with a cause. The company donates 10% of its profits to the non-profit Straightways. As president of StraightWays, he is hoping to spread their message of charity through Black Coffee by expanding to Bakersfield.
"I grew up as an orphan, I have no memories of my dad, my mom didn’t grow up with me. I was raised by my grandparents and life was so hard," Clever said. "You don’t see yourself coming out of that area except when something special happens to you."
Even though he hasn't had the easiest life, you wouldn't know that when you first meet him. All you would see is a man who loves people and giving back.
“Because of that brokenness, it created that resilience within me, that it’s our choice to give up in life. So I connect well with people who are coming from broken relationships with difficult backgrounds because that’s been my life, that’s how I grew up.”
While living in Zimbabwe, Clever spent his life dedicated to missionary work and serving communities. That’s how he met the former owner of Black Coffee — and his former business partner — Jason Mitchell.
In 2009, Clever moved to South Africa where he and Jason worked together as missionaries. After a few years, Jason came back to the U.S. but the two never lost touch.
In 2017, Clever made his way across the world, eventually coming to settle down in Frazier Park.
Clever said Jason had bought the company Black Coffee and used it to help spread the charity work of his non-profit Straightways. The non-profit seeks to impact the African culture by empowering the local community to serve its most needy.
“The motto that Giving Back is the new Black. Black Coffee is not a profited-driven business, we believe is working communities and giving back."
They also work to better communities here in the U.S. When the company was based in Los Angeles, Clever said they hired ex-convicts and helped give them a role in the community.
But Clever said Jason was never one to stay in the same place, and he eventually decided to leave. After a few years, he left and Clever took over both Black Coffee and Straightways. He does it all along with his wife and two daughters.
“Coming from outside, especially in Africa, oh man. I never thought I would see myself here today.”
Clever hopes by expanding the business out to Bakersfield, he can bridge more relationships with people and spread the message about the work they do.
“Bakersfield is growing, it’s one of the fastest-growing towns, so there’s a potential for the coffee business to do really well," he said. "We are open to any kind of market, farmers markets, churches, businesses, offices. Maybe opening a physical location in Bakersfield.”
If you’re interested in connecting with black coffee — Clever will be in Bakersfield next month for Second Saturday. He will have a booth at Nanette’s shop. You can also check out their website Black Coffee LA.