Whether it helps them get going in the morning or it’s a treat for a job well done, most American adults drink coffee. Single-cup brewing machines — like Keurigs — are a popular way for coffee drinkers to get their fix, with 40% owning a machine at home. But single-cup machines mean single-serve coffee pods made of plastic — contributing to the 400 million tons of plastic waste we pile up each year.

Moriondo wants coffee drinkers to sip a delicious cup with a lighter conscience, so it sells espresso machines that use whole coffee beans to quickly brew a fresh cup — no plastic pods necessary. With a subscription, customers can have a steady stream of freshly roasted beans delivered each month. We reached out to Moriondo founder and CEO Alvise Pasqualetti to learn about his entrepreneurial experiences and life motto.

Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Funding Round Details

Moriondo logo
Company: Moriondo
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $8,000,000
Min Investment: $100
Platform: Republic
Deadline: Feb 19, 2023
View Deal

How is Moriondo more sustainable than some of your competition?

The word “sustainability” is becoming a commodity. Every single company in my sector is supposedly sustainable and using this as a marketing effort. We are completely different. We stand by our words and take action. Since day one, Moriondo has not used plastic with our coffee products. We keep track of all customers’ consumption and the amount of plastic pods we have saved. We will continue this sustainability effort and push to reach large numbers to make an even bigger impact.

How did you survive through the COVID-19 pandemic?

I took a risk and pivoted the company during the pandemic by introducing a business-to-consumer business model. It was not easy, especially without having raised any capital via paycheck protection program loans or funds from investors to test and pivot. Pivoting was accomplished with very limited capital, and I cut costs on every aspect of the business in order to survive. The pandemic was a powerful and meaningful lesson which made me stronger in the face of potential future challenges.

How did you manage to bootstrap and be profitable for the two last years?

When you are bootstrapped, you are forced to either break even or die. I run Moriondo very lean, and every decision I make is based on input/output ratio and if it moves the needle. I never waste money or time on execution that is not essential to the growth and profitability of the company.

What is your marketing strategy?

I am hyper-focused on building the brand and sharing Moriondo’s purpose so that customers have an understanding of our global efforts and how we stand out from the competition. Having our customers share our story and enjoy our plastic-free coffee with others is the best marketing strategy. Due to the competitive market, we need to be aggressive, but at the same time, the market size is more than $88 billion in the U.S. alone. With that being said, there is space for many players. What also helps my marketing strategy is my perseverance. In Italy, we say “non mollare mai,” which means “never give up,” and these are the words I live by.

What have you learned in your journey as an entrepreneur so far?

As an entrepreneur, you don’t have a job, and there is no paycheck. You need to be comfortable being uncomfortable and brave when taking many risks. No one has the answer for your problem you’re facing except you. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. This is very true when you are bootstrapped and without sales. You risk the death of your company. A strong, focused mindset is key when facing the everyday ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. 

If we talk again in six months, what will you have achieved?

We are having meetings now with venture capitalists and other potential investors. I am confident that inviting an investor on board will help increase focus and increase our growth rate. The purpose of Moriondo is to create a greener future and eventually build a brand that will last long after I am dead.

We look forward to seeing where Alvise and his team take the company. Moriondo is currently raising on Republic.