Last week, I had the privilege of talking with Al Lopez, and today, we get to speak with him again – along with his daughter and son-in-law Harry and Leticia, the 5th generation of coffee farmers in the family – but the FIRST generation of coffee roasters and cafe owners. Harry and Leticia fell in love with their father’s mission of helping others.
Listen to the full episode!
Carrying on a Legacy
Al is thankful that Harry and Leticia have chosen to carry on and extend the legacy he and his family began generations ago. Alma Coffee – the cafe that Harry and Leticia just opened the week this episode was recorded – and being part of history while forging a new path, is something very exciting for everyone involved. This was a huge departure from the couple’s initial dreams of careers in accounting – despite becoming accountants, and getting jobs in their chosen companies, but making a difference through the family’s business was a stronger draw.
Fulfillment is Everything
As accountants, Leticia and Harry had a secure future but were miserable. The long hours, the stress, the whole environment was making them unhappy – and not filling their need for purpose. In being able to spend time at the family farm, and see the work being done – and the difficulties and challenges associated with it – they came to realize they needed to make a change – and fast! They quit their jobs, and committed fully to the family coffee business, learning how to roast and retail the coffee the family had been growing for generations.
Fixing the Supply Chain
For most coffee producers, all of the steps their product goes to – on its path from the farm to peoples cups – involve getting a smaller and smaller portion of the profits. Harry and Leticia believed they could change that, with their understanding of supply chains, marketing, and accounting. They started connecting the farmers directly to the people selling it – and everyone is better off. By controlling (and improving!) every step in the process, they and their clients have a more personal connection to the drink and understand the impact it can have.
Alma coffee adopts farmers they know personally, and that they’re going to re-invest in the industry and their communities – and they pay double the market rate for coffee. They have “Almadopted” three farmers outside of their family – and one of their measures of success is how many other farmers and families they can help. Success means being involved in the communities at all steps along the supply chain: from the farmer to the barista.
Making a Difference
Not everyone moves from prioritizing success to prioritizing significance at all – but by seeing Al make that transition while they were quite young, Harry and Leticia were able to see the value and the benefits of aligning your personal and work lives around your purpose. Making a difference through business isn’t always easy – but can be extremely satisfying. People talk to them and talk about how they can make their own major life changes – becoming an entrepreneur and making a difference in the world. Leticia advises people to discover what gives them purpose, and see what career opportunities are there. Success can be a solo endeavor – but significance almost never is.
Try Alma Coffee by visiting them at their location at The Circuit Co-Working space, or ordering online! Use the discount code Higher Purpose to get 15% off your online order.