There are many great things about owning a company and last Friday night was a showcase for a number of them.#bmfamily love and showing how a cup of coffee can make a difference.

It was a gathering of our lovely talented baristas to say thank you, and share with them the story of Perkee coffee and the journey recently made by Lin, our Marketing Director and myself to Nicaragua, to see where Perkee coffee comes from and how we can better help the cooperative and its community.

Perkee is bartlett mitchell’s brand of single source coffee, sourced from a single Cooperative, Soppexcca, in the misty mountain area of Jinotega and is led by an amazing force of nature – Fatima and her management team of elected farmers.

It’s difficult to know how to share an experience through photos and film, encapsulating the passion and commitment of the farmers, especially getting an emotional connection where people will put themselves out to help others. The reaction on the evening made me think perhaps we made it! Remember, it’s particularly challenging when you feel you are asking the audience to sit through ‘holiday snaps’ – (you know the dreaded conversation we all have when someone says let me show you my holiday photos!)

We shared with the audience the journey, from the funny to the touching and most importantly we put faces, names and stories to why the sale of every cup of coffee is making a difference and really importantly, how they can make a impact too.

We showcased the story of Anna Marie, which is an amazing story on its own. An uneducated (by her own admission) mother, who with the help of the cooperative and it’s support and mentoring, has been able to grow her land holding, improve the yield of her farm and improve her crop stock, whilst providing education and income for her family.

Her story and that of her grandchildren, along with other farmers’ children, show how positive the future is and that they will be contenders as future citizens of note in Jinotega.

Some of the projects the cooperative is helping:

  • Chocolatiers: managing the chocolate production to produce authentic chocolate from the cocoa beans which is now grown in the coffee plantation area to overcome the issue  global warming is having on the coffee harvest.
  • Baristas: running the local coffee shop showcasing the coffee and chocolate skills of the area.
  • Professional and internationally qualified coffee cuppers – those that determine the quality and grading of coffee.
  • Administrative skilled workers: supporting the head office function of the cooperative
  • Nurses and teachers and other professions who add to the community

People like Anne Marie have focus and determination to make a better life for herself has insured her children and grandchildren also know they can make a difference

A big commitment of Soppexcca is to make sure there is a reason for the children of the farmers to stay in the area, so they don’t feel the need to seek fame and fortune elsewhere

Last Friday with the Perkee team it was lovely when one barista said he wouldn’t complain about his day again, in comparison to those coffee farmers, and that he will think about the impact his sells of Perkee makes to these people. We are very proud of what Miguel, our Perkee Brand Manager, had achieved with his team, who are all really committed to the success of Perkee not just because it’s a great coffee but because they understand the importance of what we are doing.a cup of coffee can make a difference

Well the holiday snap show turned out fantastically, you couldn’t get a better bunch together to really soak up the reason behind why it’s so important to us. It was amazing to see the ideas they came up with, and commitment they have to help the specific targets we have set to take projects forward with Soppexcca

We set out a target to raise $11,000 to build and equip out a kitchen for the ladies who rake the bean as they dry (check our video here, where you can see the ladies raking vast swathes of beans). We will keep you posted on The Perkee Barista team’s brilliant ideas on how we are going to do raise the money and how their commitment will make it happen – so watch this space!

My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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