Coming from a country that produces some of the best coffee worldwide, (we put our "Latin" love into every harvest) I was shocked at some of the poor quality coffee drank in the UK; the dark roasts of robusta blends that people were paying more for than I got paid for a day's work in Honduras was disappointing!
We were in Edinburgh for the festival and I saw a cart selling specialty coffee, I was so excited to get a single origin quality coffee but was disappointed when the vendor couldn't tell me anything about it. Not even the country of origin!
I saw a unique opportunity combining my wife's business background (she got an MBA from Durham in 2011) and love of local sustainable business with my Honduran heritage and family links to coffee farming (my grannie's farm) to start importing high quality, specialty coffee from Honduras. We wanted to set about educating anyone who would listen about good quality coffee. I used my links in Honduras to access cooperatives that supported small, family farms. Many of them would not sell to such a small venture but we found a great group. Learning the importation protocols, taxes, regulations was a high barrier to entering the market, not to mention the huge competition already in the UK but we were confident there was a market for better, fresh roasted coffee, the way the Hondurans drink. We battled through the learning process and imported our first batch July 2018.
We set up a website and social media and aspired to take over the local wholesale service market (coffee shops/pubs/restaurants). The market was totally different to what I was used to in Cayman, rich Americans love trying new things and are quick to change brand. UK markets were a much more brand loyal and after struggling to break through the barriers of supportive services larger wholesalers offer, we put our focus into retail.
To get our message out there we opted to use local farmer's markets and pushed sampling to get our product noticed. Our passion for sustainability and waste reduction naturally led to using refillable jars and so began a strong client following and we won the national young market award 2019. I decided to become "the face" of the company as most coffee brands don't have a person associated with them. It worked well in line with social media and vlogging trends, my strong accent and willingness to laugh at myself really got people onside and we are proud of our online family and supportive clients. I love to engage with our clients, I want everyone to enjoy our fantastic coffee.
Our coffee is within the top 16% grading in the world, some of the microlots higher. On top of that we have developed unique roast profiles to ensure the flavours and body is perfect. What our clients love is that our coffee is FRESH roasted. This differs greatly from some brands which are often roasted 3 months before sale.