Tribe 12 Fellowship Alumni

  • 2024

Ed Johnston

Venture Name: Cultura Coffee

Coach: Peter Kestenbaum


Venture Description

Growing up in Caribbean-Italian/Jewish families respectively, Ed and Jess enjoyed coffee as an important social connector. As adults, coffee lost this meaning and became simply fuel for productivity.

While they were working for a social impact tourism startup, they forged connections with Colombian coffee farms engaged in ecotourism and were inspired/exposed to coffee culture reminiscent of our childhoods, and a brew that was unlike anything we had ever experienced. This inspired the idea for Cultura Coffee, a retail and wholesale brand that would leverage our connections to bring home single-origin coffee produced with sustainable and traditional methods by small holder farms.

As a woman/minority/Jewish-owned brand, they hope to bring superior coffee and coffee culture to their home city, while making an impact through sourcing and business practices. Beyond sustainable sourcing, they plan to work exclusively with local roasters and small businesses, and are committed to second chance hiring, as they have had family members who have experienced and been impacted by incarceration.

About the Founder

Ed has travelled the world, worked in a lot of places (including as an underwater welder at the bottom of the sea), changed gears, and now works in tech as a python developer. Ed likes to tell stories and he is detail oriented. One thing Ed’s life has taught him is that he is a craftsman– he loves to build things, be it a physical thing, or not. Ed lives in East Falls with his partner, Jess, with whom he is partnering with on his venture.


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