2014 Reflections and Looking ahead
With a new year on the horizon, it’s a great time to pause and reflect on the first full year of operation.
We launched Zion Coffee Co to advance the lives of small coffee farmers and their surrounding communities. Our first year was full of new experiences, all amazing, fulfilling, challenging, exhilarating, tiring and humbling.
2014 was an opportunity to bring people together on both sides of the cup.
On the consumer side of the cup, we focused on educating our customers by sharing farmer stories through outstanding, high quality coffees. Without a brick and mortar presence, we served consumers through online coffee sales, cupping events, partnerships with local organizations, and pop-ups.
From the farmer’s side of the cup, we invested in agricultural training for coffee producers and educational programs for their families. We purchased a coffee pulping machine to increase processing of newly picked coffee berries. We also helped finance the building of a new, dry storage facility to maintain quality until the coffee is shipped. During our trip to Guatemala in April, our family picked coffee berries, built a canopy for coffee seedlings and treated coffee plants to prevent roya (coffee rust). In December, we provided additional funding to help farmers replace over 2,000 coffee trees previously killed by roya.
As we look ahead, we are excited about our plans for 2015. In January, we will be introducing our first coffee from Nicaragua. We will be partnering with a co-op in Jinotega to invest in educational programs for children of the coffee farming families. Our plan for next year also includes an origin trip to Central America, to continue to build relationships and get to know the farmers’ needs firsthand.
We are most excited to announce that we will be opening a retail coffee shop in 2015. We are still working through the details of location and timing, but we know this is the next step in our journey to bring people on both sides of the cup together.
Thank you for an incredible 2014. We appreciate everyone’s belief in the vision and your continued support in helping small coffee farmers.
We love people. We love coffee. Welcome to Zion.