Sustainable Business: Moka Origins Activates Social Change with Print

Sustainable Business: Moka Origins Activates Social Change with Print

Coffee, chocolate and a side of social change? That’s what you get with a sustainable business like Moka Origins, a bean-to-bar social enterprise with roots running from a sustainable farm in Africa to a roastery and chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. Operations Manager Mark Larson says to “spread our mission and create awareness around who we are,” print goes hand in hand with producing superior products and making a serious impact. (Hint: Use code “SmartpressMoka” on Moka Origins’ website and they’ll give you 25% off your first purchase!)

Two custom postcards printed with marketing imagery and text for Moka Origins.

Postcard: 130# Uncoated Smooth White Cover, 5 x 7″

Envisioning Better

Offering bars of chocolate and bags of coffee and tea, plus bundles of all three, Moka Origins operates with a singularly focused mission that benefits all parties involved.


“Our mission is to empower farmers and restore the environment,” said Larson. “We do this by ethically sourcing coffee and cacao, creating jobs on our farm in Cameroon and planting a tree for every product sold.”

Two package inserts printed with subscription box information and images of chocolate bars.

Postcard: 130# Uncoated Smooth White Cover, 5 x 7″



To bring that inspiring (and delicious) movement to the masses, Larson leveraged print marketing to achieve his sustainable business goals. Knowing the quality of print materials is a “huge factor in the experience someone has of your brand, especially when they’re meeting you for the first time,” Larson took a big-picture approach to messaging.


“We want [people] to experience an elevated design that also reflects our original mission on the farm and the ‘handmade’ nature of our products,” he said. “Our designs frequently contain foliage, natural backgrounds and hand-drawn graphics.”

Custom printed chocolate bar wrappers with a black, purple and tan design.

Sell Sheets: 80# Uncoated Smooth White Text, 7.5 x 8.5″

Two chocolate bars with custom wrapping printed with a black, purple and tan design.

Organic Workflow

Larson’s “modern designs meet rustic products” strategy is apparent with one look at Moka Origins’ chocolate bar packaging. Printed with custom Sell Sheets, the wrappers feature abstract patterns, clean fonts and inviting colors.


Sell sheet printing made processing their small-batch specialties more efficient and showcased just how much the brand has grown from its humble beginnings as a community farming project in Africa.


“When we first started, we packaged our bars in paper we cut ourselves [and] wrapped by hand,” said Larson. “We loved the look but hand-cutting paper was a challenge as we started to grow.”

Larson used Smartpress’ online printing services to turn that stale task into a sweet one. Printing double-sided, Larson “created placement guidelines on the inside of the wrapper to help us place the bar accurately, which helped speed up our wrapping process.”


And as for those inviting colors? Larson experimented with Smartpress’ range of premium paper stocks (including recycled) to create mouth-watering magic for each morsel. “[They] allowed us to really dial in on the feel we were trying to achieve, and we were able to print the bright colors that match each flavor of chocolate,” he said.

Custom brochures fanned out with coffee beans, chocolate bars and Moka Origins on the cover.

Brochures: 80# Uncoated Smooth White Cover, 11 x 8.5″ folded to 5.5 x 8.5″

A custom brochure printed with Moka Origins and an image of three men standing in a field.

Brochure: 80# Uncoated Smooth White Cover, 14 x 8.5″ folded to 7 x 8.5″


For Larson and the Moka Origins team, following a passion for hand-crafted chocolate and coffee was more than a career – it was a calling. And they knew doing it ethically was the only path to take for their sustainable business.


“We love crafting delicious products that meet a social mission,” said Larson. “It feels great building a company around social impact metrics and ensuring everyone involved grows with us.” And that includes highlighting those partners and collaborators in after-purchase promotions.


Designing custom booklets and utilizing brochure printing gave the brand more real estate to build connections with customers. “We wanted a small booklet that told our whole story, from farm to bar,” said Larson. “[It] has a section on our social mission, impact, farm, products, the entire craft process and where you can find us.”

A marketing booklet laying open to images and text about coffee beans being processed.

Saddle Stitch Booklet: 80# Uncoated Smooth White Text Throughout, 6 x 9″

A stack of marketing booklets with a saddle stitch binding and a white cover with Moka Origins in black text.

Saddle Stitch Binding



Distributed through retail, shipments and sample kits for wholesalers, these custom brochures and booklets go beyond traditional messaging and provide an inside look at the people and places behind the process.


“We want people to find us because of our coffee and chocolate but leave with the experience of social empowerment and human connection,” said Larson.


With pages stapled through the fold line, Saddle Stitch Booklets were the right format to present every caffeinated component. “We chose [them] because it was a simple and clean design that allowed us more space to go into the details we were looking to emphasize,” said Larson.

Subscription box inserts laid out in three rows with images of chocolate bars and #MokaBox in white text.


Those marketing materials also make their way into Moka Origins’ subscription boxes. Offering chocolate, coffee or a blend of the two, the boxes ship monthly and feature custom Postcards that explain the service and the brand’s approach to sustainable business.


“We love the postcards for their simple and effective usage,” said Larson. “[They] were designed to fit in every shipment, quickly explain the mission and easily lay out what comes in each subscription box, how to sign up and what to expect.”


Online printing with Smartpress means Larson found an uncoated stock for the elegant look he was aiming for. And with Soft Touch and UV coating options, our print services offer tempting finishing touches for any project. Moka Origins even rounded out their Smartpress collaboration with personalized Business Cards featuring the brand’s custom bean logo.

Moka Origins chocolate bar wrappers scattered below a stack of white business cards with Moka Origins in gold text.

Business Card: 130# Uncoated Smooth White Cover, 3 x 2.5″

Reimagining Resources

As a brand that goes green whenever possible, Moka Origins applied that same philosophy to finding an online printer. “Whenever we source materials, we always take environmental impact and sustainability into our decision-making,” said Larson. “That’s why we chose Smartpress.”


Not only did Smartpress’ sustainable offerings and eco-friendly processes appeal to Larson, but also the ease of use. “A wide variety of projects are easy to find, designs are easy to upload and build, unit costs are competitive and the customer service for custom projects is always great,” he said.

And while reducing, reusing and recycling is a priority for Moka Origins, Larson knows there’s ample room for a smart print strategy.


“If you can make your promotional materials unique and well-branded, we find there is a lot of value in creating a memorable experience with a physical piece of content,” he said. “People seem to miss holding something, and if they’re looking to carry something around, [it] might as well be about your brand.”

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