|Serving and showing Rwandan beans.|
I was amazed with her story of opening her micro-roaster company, Cloudland, in Atlanta, Georgia on pure guts, passion and inspiration! She found a space in a shared kitchen where the other entrepreneurs, bakers and other culinary folks, don't mind the aroma of roasted coffee in the air. Then she found customers at the farmers market, on the web, and elsewhere in town. Her customers are people who seek out great-tasting coffee and appreciate businesses like Cloudland, which source their coffee with care for social consciousness and positive impact for the producers who grow the coffee. "Fair trade and beyond" is one way to put it.
The fact that the producers of this Rwandan coffee are the women of the Ejo Heza cooperative adds an extra "sweet note" for Kristina to this coffee's fruity, berry-like flavors. As a female roaster, she has experienced how the male-dominated coffee industry can ignore women's skills and contributions, but she has also seen how the industry as a whole is moving fast to embrace and empower female professionals in the supply chain. Kristina and I are both proud that this coffee is an example of this good direction, given the traceability to females at the farm, and at the importing, roasting and brewing stages. Way to go, Cloudland!
As Kristina serves up this aromatic coffee at the Farmer's Market in Atlanta, her customers tell her they love the cup! Many also love the story and the satisfaction that Kristina can assure them that the coffee producers received their premium payment. (Click here for a throwback post on that topic.)
|Rwanda packaged - who wouldn't want to buy some heaven?!|
|Farmers' market display.|