Last month I brought my kids (Max, age 11; Arlo, age 8) to Nicaragua to visit our farmers, Jorge Lagos and Jaime Lovo, whose coffee you serve everyday. Our Coffee Director, Noah Welch, was there too and was an excellent tour guide during a very busy trip.
The kids rode in the back of a pick-up to the farm where they picked coffee behind Carlos, the machete-wielding farm manager. They cupped coffees at the mill -- lots of authorized slurping and spitting -- and got to jump off huge stacks of our green coffee that had already been processed and bagged for export. They rode horses (Jaime owns a ranch too) and petted many cute stray dogs. They played soccer with kids in the farming community and ate tons of rice and beans (gallo pinto) And Jorge's mother gave them lots of hugs.
I am sure they will have great memories from the trip, but the proudest moments for me were when they witnessed and participated in the projects we do at origin. They delivered construction materials to farm workers' homes that Think Coffee is helping to rebuild. They got to see the classroom on Jaime's farm that Think Coffee helped make happen. I would like to think that Max and Arlo understood the impact we are making.
It is a privilege just to be able to sell a product like coffee that people enjoy so much, but to be able to do so in a way that impacts the lives of so many in such meaningful ways makes our business special to me. Bringing my kids to origin and having them start making this connection was a truly joyous time.