Max Rivest is a Vancouver native who decided to quit his corporate finance job in 2012 and go to Bordeaux, France for a Master's Degree. This is where he and Arnaud met, and created Wize Monkey together as a thesis project. It all started when they came across a study showing the health benefits of coffee leaf tea and how it has been consumed for over 2,000 years in Ethiopia. Immediately, they thought this was an interesting concept, but they still had no idea what it tasted like. Once they started researching its feasibility, they realized that the coffee industry is so seasonal and that the leaf could not only be a fantastic product for consumers, but also revolutionize the coffee industry for the better.
After their program, they decided to go backpacking to Nicaragua searching for coffee farmers. Their true a-ha moment was when they tried their first ever batch of coffee leaf tea, which was also the first ever made in the Americas. They were terrified and nervous that it would taste horrible... but sure enough, it was remarkably delicious!
Since its inception in early 2013, Wize Monkey has created over 110 jobs for seasonal coffee workers. This holistic solution helps mitigate seasonal migration and hunger, and helps keep kids consistently in school since families aren't constantly moving to find work. Their coffee leaf tea features an award-winning smooth taste and rare health benefits, and also creates direct, long-term tangible impact for coffee farming families.