North Carolina Woman Quits Job, Launches Coffee Cart to Honor Late Father

Meet Iasia Montana-Maye, an entrepreneur from Durham, North Carolina. She founded Espréssate, a coffee firm, in remembrance of her late father. Her firm provides a mobile space for people to network and bond over a warm cup of coffee.

“At Espressate, we passionately brew the essence of Cuban-American warmth and connection in every cup,” the company’s website claims. “Founded in loving memory of our late father, we strive to honor his legacy by sharing the rich heritage of our coffee traditions with our community, fostering moments of joy, unity, and cultural appreciation, one sip at a time.”

Montana-Maye explained that because it is a mobile coffee cart rather than a physical coffee shop, she and her crew can serve gourmet coffee at a variety of events.

According to the Durham, North Carolina entrepreneur, her greatest accomplishment thus far has been finding the fortitude to quit her day job to focus on her coffee business.

“Finding the strength and courage to finally resign from my day job and put everything I’ve got into my business,” she said to The Story Exchange. “I no longer measure my success based on financial and professional achievements. I now describe it as “living a life that is consistent with my values and gives me a sense of fulfillment and contentment.”

Montana-Maye, like any other firm, was not immune to problems. Before quitting her day job to focus on her business, she needed to establish a balance between her employment and the new venture she was launching.

“Before I left my day job, it was really tough to reconcile my career and my business. I addressed it by reminding myself of my ‘why’ and remembering that my father never had the opportunity to retire and genuinely live his own life. And I handled it by respectfully retiring and going forward with my business.”

Despite conquering the initial difficulty, she had to deal with the loss of her father, which motivated her to pursue true happiness.

What is keeping her? The entrepreneur stated that she derives “inspiration” from her “darkest days” by “reflecting on the raw emotion I felt when I was in my dark days of grief and observing how far I have come.”

Montana-Maye advised budding entrepreneurs who aspire to be like her that the trip will be “scary,” but they should not be discouraged.

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