By Paulina Schippers
Coffee has been in my family for 5 generations. Growing up in Guatemala, there was never a time when someone in my family didn’t have a coffee farm, and I absolutely loved it! Walking through the beautiful plants, learning how to pick the coffee as it ripened, feeling the pride the first time I was paid to pick coffee, understanding the process from a little red cherry to that delicious smelling cup my parents drank every morning… What I didn’t know as a child was all the hardships coffee farmers go through, and my family was no exception. It’s scary when the market price dips below production price and there is nothing you can do to change that, especially when your ability to feed your wife and two daughters depends on it. It was that moment that my father John decided to redirect his entrepreneurial skills and pursue a path in real estate development and sales. Even though coffee got pushed to the background, the farms remained, producing those red cherries.
Fast forward 20 years later, I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in chemical engineering and I was working my first job post college. My parents decided to explore the possibility of selling coffee in the US and they invited me to tag along to a coffee conference in Seattle. There, I met fellow Auburn grad and coffee lover, Wade Preston. Long story short: we produce coffee, he wanted to buy coffee, and a year later the Schippers family had a path to selling our product in the US through Dos Niñas Coffee. We now have clients across the country.
Dos Niñas has allowed our family to sell our coffee inside shops that value it for its actual worth. It has helped us break the long-standing thought process that the life of a coffee farmer is a life of suffering. Yes, farming will always be tough, but now we get to play a role in how our coffee is valued, and how we tell our story. Thanks to our wonderful clients, we are also able to pay our workers above average pay, help build new homes for them at the farm, and build a school for their children.
Our workers are a huge part of our story, a fact that is not well known to the general public. Did you know that it takes 1,950 cherries to make 1lb of roasted coffee? That means somebody had to meticulously pick 85 ripe cherries for you to be able to enjoy one cup of coffee. It is our passion to bring facts like these to light, to tell our workers’ stories, so people can know where their coffee comes from, and value the quality that specialty coffee shops are trying to bring to them. We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished, the coffee family we have established in Guatemala and in the US, and we can’t wait for what’s next.
Follow us on Instagram @dosninascoffee to keep us with our journey!
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