After many years of working directly with farmers in coffee growing countries, I celebrated the first ever Origin of Denomination seal awarded to the coffee grown in Marcala, Honduras ( think Napa branding for wine from that region) at the cultural fair put on for the honor. During this period, and in talks with an all-women coffee growing Co-Op, I arranged to have one of the young members to come to The Roastery in Carrboro and be trained in all things coffee/retail. It was then, Over 10 years ago, that Nancy Hernandez left her country for the first time and was sponsored by Carrboro Coffee Roasters to learn her trade; beyond coffee growing. She wanted to learn all she could in the 10 days she was in USA about coffee roasting, espresso preparation and coffee brewing, and any other retail experience she could take home to Marcala in order to open her very own Cafe. Soft spoken but knowledgeable Nancy (who spoke no English) also shared her viewpoint with area residents and staff so they could put the pieces together for what really needs to happen in the farming/processing side of coffee, before it gets to us as green coffee to roast.
Over 10 years ago, Nancy Hernandez left her country for the first time and was sponsored by Carrboro Coffee Roasters to learn her trade.
Now, 10 years later, she has 3 coffee shops and is actively selling an amazing high quality coffee from her farm, derived form years of hard work, to select roasters around the world. While we stayed in touch over the years and I have visited her in Honduras, this year marked the first time she could return to visit the place of her coffee education beginnings! Even more amazing was to be visited along with her daughter, who at 12 is already starting to be an amazing coffee professional herself!
For me, this is but one example of what we have done as a company over the past several decades, but a quintessential one, as it clearly shows our larger goals of creating a broad economic base for all of our Farmer Partners that allow for greater long term, and truly sustainable, relationships for them, their families and their communities.
This isn’t just about buying a coffee once or even twice ( though we do value delicious, unique, high quality coffee…), but about safeguarding the future in all forms. For us this started as an investment with a young Nancy, and now extends to her daughter, family and community at large.
Our tag line is ‘Coffee Unites the World’ and we strive every day to make that true. Sometimes the effect is immediate and observable, and sometimes, like coffee, it too is a seed that is planted for future hope.
This year we are working with Nancy to offer her own farms’ coffee – Finca El Jazmin. This coffee is amazingly balanced. The care that went into it’s growth and processing, that we tease out with careful and expert roasting, shows in its amazing tropical fruit sweetness and lovely floral and brown sugar qualities.
This isn’t just about buying a coffee once or even twice, but about safeguarding the future in all forms.
While we have many more examples of our hard-earned Farmer Direct Relationship coffees available, this one has an amazing, full-circle quality that really epitomizes all the years of effort, travel, and actual blood, sweat & tears invested in what we lovingly call ‘work’.
No one else in our area, even very few in the Country, have the unique qualities that are exhibited in this program; put at the forefront of our company ideals and mission statement, and are willing to go to the lengths we will to fulfill them.
— Scott Conary, Carrboro Coffee Roasters