Mokate: success brewed over 100 years of family business succession

The Mokate Group produces and exports brands of coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate drinks, creamers and other instant beverages. Originally from Silesia, the company is one of the largest producers of instant coffee and tea in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
If ‘coffee is for pleasure and tea is for health’, what does it mean to be a family-owned beverage producer? Adam Mokrysz, CEO of Mokate Group, lets us in on the secret.

Mokate is now a brand name, but where does it stem from?

The history of Mokate dates back to 1900 when Józef Mokrysz opened a colonial shop in a town located in what is now the Czech Republic. After opening a concrete batching plant, the family business continued to expand for the next three generations. In 1990, the owner’s grandson, Kazimierz Mokrysz, took over with his wife Teresa and they changed the company’s name from Mokrysz to Mokate by incorporating both of their names – MOkrysz-KAzimierz-Teresa.

How has the company evolved over time?

Mokate has existed for nearly 100 years, but the company had a major breakthrough in the 1990s when we found an opportunity to capitalise on the unmet needs of the market. This was a period of investment and development which resulted in the creation of new products, such as instant cappuccino. In the 2000s, the company opened new production plants and through organic growth, it accumulated the capital to make seven acquisitions in Poland and the region. Mokate soon became an international group of nine companies operating in the CEE and select non-European markets. However, we have not lost our family character despite growth in sales, revenue and overall development as a dynamic company.

How many generations work at Mokate?

As the CEO, I am a successor in the fourth generation of our entrepreneurial family company. I believe that every generation has made a great contribution to our business, and my contribution is the creation of its international DNA.  In addition to my parents and myself, my wife Katarzyna also works in the company as the General Manager of the plant in Żory.

Adam Mokrysz is the fourth generation family member at Mokate. Before becoming CEO, he was a board member and was responsible for the international development of the company.

What’s it like running a large family-owned business?

It’s a great honour but also a big responsibility. It’s a challenging professional adventure that requires constant creativity and total commitment. In a company run by one family from the beginning, the same values and code of conduct are passed down from generation to generation. This shapes interpersonal relationships and organisational culture. People are very important to us and we focus on building a good atmosphere at work and creating well-coordinated, committed and professional teams that will help us develop and grow.

Who will take over the company in the future?

The Mokate Group is to remain a family business in the future. successful succession is a great challenge, but we know how to prepare for it and how to carry it out effectively. From a young age, we help future successors make decisions, although each member of our family chooses their life and career path according to their predispositions.

What are your thoughts on Millennials?

Are they prepared to enter the workforce? I don’t like to generalise. I do believe that the key to readiness is emotional and business maturity which comes from relevant experience. Personality is also very important. I’m happy to see that many young people not only learn and work hard for success but are also passionate visionaries. such people will definitely be ready to lead companies and develop them further. The generation they belong to is less important because each generation has something to offer.

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Written by: Monica Zielinski