HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

HEKO Stories: Relationships Formed

The relationships formed through African Leadership and HEKO are very impactful! They change women’s lives by giving them hope and by simply showing them love.

Here is the story of one woman who changed her life after meeting the people from African Leadership and HEKO:

Teresa Anyango Odiawo was diagnosed HIV/AIDS positive after her husband died from the disease. She was living with her two children and her HIV/AIDS positive younger brother. She was having a hard time coping with people mistreating her because of her disease.

She was introduced to HEKO, where she participated in psycho-spiritual counseling. She also met Barrett Ward and Emily Blackledge from African Leadership who supported her micro-finance training. The support and help shown by these two organizations gave her hope and inspiration.

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Teresa and her brother

Teresa started a bead work business and trains other people living with HIV/AIDS on knitting, beadwork, and crocheting. She has become a role model for people living with the disease and volunteers as a social health worker.

She now understands the importance of community and having relationships with people. She would not have gained this confidence without the example shown by Emily Blackledge being there for her third child’s birth, Barrett Ward’s support and teaching, or HEKO‘s compassion and training.

When you give to Mocha Club, you are helping create relationships that build communities.




Why I’m Thankful to Be a Mochatern

Hi, everyone! It’s Annabelle this week. I honestly cannot believe how fast this semester at Mocha Club has flown by. I have learned so much during my time here, and I am not looking forward to finishing my internship in a few short weeks. With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the many reasons why I am thankful to have had this internship opportunity and experience.

1. How welcoming and approachable the Mocha Club team is. Everyone here truly invests in me and cares about my success.

2. Craft time at work. I have gotten to use my stamping/embossing Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 3.41.54 PMskills to make cards for special occasions.

3. Friday Funday on a Tuesday. I loved taking an adventure to Krispy Kreme with Fallon, Katie, and Lana on National Coffee Day.

4. Making a new friend in Lana. Her kind and enthusiastic spirit can always brighten my day.

5. Getting in new merch. I love that my input is valued when we are picking out new merch, and it is so cool to get to see and share the finished products once they come in to the office.

6. Meeting pastors from churches we support in Africa. Getting to know the real people who Mocha Club impacts brings the work I do here daily so much closer to my heart.

7. Brady, our Director of Systems and Information, sharing his Turkish delight. I get to experience a little piece of Narnia from right here in Brentwood.

8. Meeting with team members about what they do here. I have been so lucky to have the opportunity to meet with many different staff members here, and their insights have helped shape what I want to do in the future.

9. Planning our own Mochatern event. We are so excited about our Christmas House Show on December 6th.

Mocha House Show Poster 2


Have a happy and restful Thanksgiving, and thanks for all you do!


women at risk
#mcjourney2016, AFRICA TRIPS, Women at Risk

Mocha Club Journey Stop #3 : Women at Risk

Next summer we are headed out on a journey to Africa with visit Ethiopia and Kenya! Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand what giving up a few mochas a month can do, while having a chance to serve the African people. 

We will take the next couple of weeks to introduce you each of the spots we will be visiting on our journey!

Last up: our partners at Women at Risk.

Sunday morning we will attend church with our Ethiopian country director, Asrat Gizaw. Attending church in Africa can be a powerful and moving experience. After the service, the team will spend some time talking with Asrat, and learning about the large pastor training programs that he facilitates in Ethiopia.

We will set out early for Nazaret, where one of our Women at Risk facilities is located. The location is outside of the city of Addis Ababa, and will present an opportunity to see a somewhat different side of Ethiopia. Upon arrival, the team will meet with Cherry Friedmeyer, the director of the Women at Risk program. Cherry will give the group a tour of the facility and talk about how the organization came to be. The story showcases how one small effort can turn into what is now a life-changing program.

We will take another day to visit more of the city of Addis Ababa with Asrat as our guide. We will also have the opportunity to visit with some of the teachers and students of the Common Ground Pastors Academy through our parent company, African Leadership.


(or download the application & mail in):

Mocha Club
P.O. Box 2888
Brentwood, TN 37024-2888

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

What are we thankful for this year?


Project C.U.R.E. is an organization that Mocha Club donations help support by giving medical and healthcare supplies to different countries in Africa. And year-after-year, YOU have been providing life-saving medical care + supplies to communities all over the continent.

The last donation was used to provide care to pregnant women through an organization called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. The movement works to reduce the number of deaths that happen while women are giving birth. In many countries in Africa, women do not have the right medical care to prevent death while giving birth if complications arise such as severe bleeding, infections, high blood pressure or unsafe abortions.

Donations from Mocha Club were used to ship this container full of medical supplies including boxes of disinfectant bottles, wipes, thermometers, stethoscopes, drip stands, and beds to help provide care for many mothers receiving care. With the Mocha Club’s help, lives are being saved!

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Thank you again for your donations and the life-saving care that you are helping provide to the women in Africa!

INSPIRATION, Uncategorized

Be Inspired : Cadence Turpin with Commontable

Our team at Mocha Club loves working and living in Nashville, Tennessee – a place known for it’s community and the inspiration from it’s members. These individuals are the best in their craft and we want to share them with you!  This blog series features locals that inspire us through their unique/beautiful/innovative…we could go on and on..approach to life, business and community.  We love their businesses and  want to showcase them in this new series – where simply,  we want to inspire others by what inspires us.
Cadence Turpin :: Commontable
1.     What motivated you to start your business, and how has it grown since it began?
My friend Simoni and I were introduced because we shared a common vision for hosting dinners, and within months of meeting, we were hosting the first Common Table together. When I moved to Nashville in May 2012, table culture was on the rise, and pop-up dinners and supper clubs were showing up everywhere. As someone who loves sharing food and the community that inevitably unfolds around it, I wanted in. But we never saw hosting dinners as an opportunity to create community as much as we did an opportunity to showcase Nashville’s community in a way that invited people to love it even more. We wanted, more than anything, to celebrate what we already believed was so great about Nashville: the food scene, the music scene, the various artists behind it, and the people who show up to appreciate it.
When we started Common Table, we threw 50 people we knew (or knew of) into a hat and drew 10 out. Those 10 were the first guests, and they were all our friends. Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to host almost 200 others, many of whom have been complete strangers. With that, we’ve stuck to doing dinners bimonthly, with 10 guests at each one, and we’ve loved it that way. Our team members all work full-time, so we budget to break even, and see our contributions as a way to serve our neighbors in a really unique and meaningful way. We occasionally do private catering for likeminded businesses and organizations, and we’re currently working on a publication that will highlight recipes and stories from the last 3 years, but the heart of what we do is still setting that table for 10, and we’re grateful that Nashvillians keep putting their name in the hat to be a part of it.
2.     How has the Nashville community embraced your business?
As if we weren’t enough already, we’re more amazed than ever at the quality of people living in Nashville. Over the last three years, the amount of name submissions to join our dinners have grown every time we’ve announce one. And our guests are not only friends of friends anymore, they’re a diverse community of people who are drawn to Common Table for a variety of reasons, whether an appreciation for beauty, love of food, the opportunity to meet new faces, or just plain curiosity. We love that we live in a city that is constantly growing and attracting people who value new experiences.
Beyond our guests, we’ve been so honored by the tens of artists, designers, stylists, and hosts in Nashville who have cheerfully offered their talents and time to help make each of our gatherings beautifully unique and special. Every gathering is truly a team effort, celebrating a creative community that values collaboration over competition.
3.     Is there any way that your business has given back, to the community or in some other way?
Our hope is that each gathering feels like a gift to the guests in our community. As I mentioned, we don’t make a profit from Common Table, because we never really saw it as a business idea as much as a way to give back. Most people don’t know this, but because we do things this way, it allows us to keep our dinner costs at an approachable price, and we love being able to do that! We all love our full-time jobs, and our team of friends truly sees it as a joy to be able to serve our neighbors together in this really unique way every couple of months. The act is our reward, and we hope that in some small way, it blesses people as much as its blessed us to be able to do it.
4.     What is special about the way you bring people together and why do you do it this way?
Well for one, we kind of let fate choose our guests. We allow anyone who lives in Nashville to submit their name and then we draw 10 of them at random from a hat. One of the things Simoni and I knew we didn’t want to do when we started dreaming about Common Table was create something exclusive—that market was already covered. So that’s when the magic hat idea was born. Our long-term goal was to host as many new people as possible and create a space where all types of people felt welcome. We also keep the size of our dinners down to 10 guests so that the experience is intimate enough for people to relax and be able to bond in a really authentic way. Each dinner is hosted in a different home, which is a blast. It’s fun to always be working with a new space and being able to partner with people who love to host people as much as we do. Again, it’s truly a team effort!
Once people are at the table, we ask them to go around and introduce themselves and share how they ended up in Nashville. From there, we leave it up to them. There are a few conversation starters placed in the middle of the table, and we encourage them to pull one at the beginning of each course if they feel inspired, or to just keep enjoying one another without them. What continually amazes me is that I have never really heard an awkward silence take place. Something about choosing to actively be with one another around the table really makes it easy to connect and oftentimes, they sit around laughing and enjoying each other’s company long after we’ve dismissed them. We think that’s the coolest part.
5.     Where does all of your recipes and food come from, and why do you buy it from these places?
Our chef, Simoni, could inform you in more detail on this, but we buy local anything that is possible to buy local. Simoni is a full-time sous chef at Josephine in 12 South, and even prior to that, has always worked in farm-to-table restaurants, so his knowledge and appreciation for local ingredients is evident in every meal. Some of the farms we consistently buy from are Delvin Farms, Green Door Gourmet, Bear Creek Farms, Hatcher Dairy, and Noble Springs Dairy.
Simoni dreams up every menu, which is usually themed around what’s seasonally available. In warmer months you’ll see a lot of lighter, fresh herbs and produce on the menus, and in the colder months you’ll see a lot of heartier ingredients, like squashes, root vegetables, and roasted meats. But each recipe is innovated by Simoni, and he doesn’t serve a course until he’s mastered it. Many of his ideas are inspired by what he’s working on in the restaurant or reading about in his latest cookbook, and that inspired creativity shines through his presentation of each course. Our hope is that our guests are inspired by his ingredients and drawn to the farms that supply them.
#mcjourney2016, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

Mocha Club Journey Stop #2 : Heritage Kenya Organization (HEKO)

Next summer we are headed out on a journey to Africa with visit Ethiopia and Kenya! Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand what giving up a few mochas a month can do, while having a chance to serve the African people. 

We will take the next couple of weeks to introduce you each of the spots we will be visiting on our journey!

Next up: our partners at HEKO.

We will finish up our visits with our partners as we travel to Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa and home to the Heritage Kenya Organization (HEKO). HEKO provides mental, physical, and spiritual support primarily to women impacted by HIV/AIDS. We will spend the day meeting, engaging, and praying with members of a HEKO support group, alongside founders and group leaders Peter and Monica Odero.


(or download the application & mail in):

Mocha Club
P.O. Box 2888
Brentwood, TN 37024-2888


Mochatern Monday: 11.16.15

Mocha House Show Poster 2

Hey Mocha Club !

Thanks for following along! This week, Annabelle and I have an exciting announcement:

We are planning the first-ever Mocha Club Christmas House Show! It is going to be so much fun! We have artists, Ernie Halter, The Orchardist, and Rand Walter coming to play some Christmas songs for us on December 6th as we celebrate The Mocha Club and spread awareness to the Nashville community.

We will also be selling our new shirts there! Be sure and check them out online! Bring cash or check!

If you live in the Nashville area, don’t forget to mark your calendars for December 6th and check out our Facebook event page!






African artists hope to bring peace with their music

Photo source: Ne-Yo’s Facebook page

Photo source: Ne-Yo’s Facebook page

American Grammy Award-winning artist and R&B singer, Ne-Yo, is collaborating with artists in Africa and recently visited Kenya. He will be performing in Uganda live this coming fall.

He recently Tweeted “In Kenya recording a mashup with 5 artists from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria & Uganda… #CokeStudioAfrica”

Some artists that Ne-Yo is working with include Ice Prince, Alikiba, Wangechi, and Dama do Bling. Many of these artists, including Wangechi and Dama do Bling, are working on promoting peace in Africa. They have a single coming out in honor of Peace Day at a festival in Rwanda this September and hope that it will bring the youth in the region to promote harmony within their communities.





Mochatern Monday: 11.09.15

It is crazy how we are halfway done with our internship! We have gotten to learn a lot so far and we mochaterncan’t wait to reveal the #mochatern event coming up soon! Make sure and follow @mochatern on Twitter for all the latest updates. Annabelle and I are planning out the rest of our time here and plan on having lots more fun working and growing with the Mocha Club staff.

Lately we have been working on tagging scarves for the upcoming tours, writing blog posts about our partners in Africa, sitting in on team meetings and brainstorming new merch for you!

Christmas time is my favorite and I am so excited to begin the holiday festivities. With Thanksgiving and Christmas season just around the corner, be sure to check out the Mocha Club Store for some awesome gifts!


HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

HEKO Stories: Education is Power

There is a need and YOU are answering the call.

The money raised through giving up mochas helps support the HEKO program in Africa. Last year, as the HEKO program was conducting door-to-door visitations where they prayed over famScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.39.05 AMilies, they met a woman named Jane Akinyi Obonyo.

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Odero of HEKO later learned that the woman they were visiting was living with HIV/AIDS. Jane was abandoned at home with her two children and feeling hopeless.

The Oderos invited Jane to be a part of the HEKO ministry where she got regular support and hope. She learned about the importance of nutrition and how to take care of herself then she began spreading the ministry to those around her.

So when you give up a mocha and donate to the Mocha Club, you are helping people just like Jane and impacting an entire community!