Guadalupe Uganda

Great Partnerships continued

After Tom and Paula got involved with Guadalupe Roastery and we started direct trade with Rolyn and Lorena in Nicaragua, we started seeing more and more growth. Things were moving in the right direction. We also started making connections with other folks in the small town of Ave Maria, FL. One of them was Fr Joseph Lugalambi, a priest from Uganda who was studying for his PHD at Ave Maria University.

Fr. Lugalambi is one of the most genuinely joyful persons I have ever met. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know him. He talked a great deal about his home country and it was clear how much he loves Uganda and her people; how much he cares for his local community. Brad started meeting with Fr. Lugalambi to learn about his mission in Uganda. They did this short video together. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j_UoeOIgd08 Things on the Uganda front moved slow until we were eventually introduced to some Ave Maria University students, alumni, and entrepreneurs. These young people are part of an investment group called Blackstripe Ventures and they were very attracted to the Guadalupe Roastery Catholic value system, being Catholics themselves. As Providence would have it, one of the Blackstripe members, Michael and some of the creative folks on Guadalupe’s marketing team were also friends with Fr. Joseph Lugalambi. The marketing team’s desire to help make an impact with the poor community that Father Lugalambi ministers to in Uganda motivated them to coordinate a marketing campaign around this project to create a way for the very generous Guadalupe Roastery customers to donate directly to Father’s mission in Uganda on our website. Since this was started, our Guadalupe customers have sent enough money to Uganda to build a school! At the heart of it all, Guadalupe Roastery is a Catholic company and that guides our decision making. We are happy to have fellow Catholics in Blackstripe Ventures as investors and partners in this company and we are so grateful to be connected with Father Lugalambi. By working with Father Lugalambi, Guadalupe Roastery’s mission is much more complete. As lay people, being connected to our priests’ Sacrament of Holy Orders, helps give us instruction to our work.

Students from Uganda giving thanks to Guadalupe Roastery’s customers

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Guadalupe – Can a Coffee Market Change the Culture?

Dear friends, customers, followers, and team members,

If you’ve been following us from the beginning, you know that I used to write blog posts for Guadalupe Roastery in order to help explain the vision of the company and its day-to-day goings on. It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything, but now that we’re all settled into our farmstead, I have a little more time on my hands. And, as our following grows, we thought it would be good to re-tell the story of why we do what we do and some of the nitty-gritty behind starting this business. We’d like you all, the long-time followers and the brand new ones alike, to have a window into the heart of this company. So, I’m going to do a series of posts, including some old blog posts about the very beginnings of our back porch start-up.

If you’re interested, stay tuned for those. 

But, first, I’d like to start with the most important question…

What is Guadalupe Roastery?

We’re a coffee company that sells really, really, good coffee. But, chances are, that’s not why you’re here, reading this. We’re well aware that we are not the only company that offers top-notch coffee. So, while coffee is our product, and we’ll always strive to offer the best coffee possible, it is not the main goal of the company. Coffee is a tool that leads to conversations and relationships. The more coffee we sell, the more coffee we can buy and the more coffee we can buy, the more coffee farming communities we can impact for the better. The goal, the true goal, is to have a positive impact on the culture, and not only the culture in coffee farming communities, but also here, in America, among our consumers and their families and friends.

As Catholics, we have an obligation to care for the poor. At Guadalupe Roastery, we see business as a means of helping the poor exponentially. By having direct farmer-partner relationships and purchasing coffee directly from family coffee farms, we can be sure that the farming families are getting a good price for their product. In turn, the farming families can pay their laborers a good wage and help their local communities. For instance, our farmer-partners in Nicaragua

have used some of their profits to build a chicken coop in order to have farm-fresh eggs as well as to start a small schoolhouse for educating the laborers’ children.

Helping families who work hard for their wages gives strength to the local communities.

The greatest poverty of all, however, and the most prevalent, is that of the soul. How poor are those that have never been told the truth; those that have not known goodness in their families and communities, and those who have never seen and experienced true beauty? Those souls are often the poorest of the poor and they should be ministered to in earnest. How, you ask? I think the best way is to lead by example. We must also try to turn the tide of the culture toward goodness; toward virtue.

In case you haven’t noticed, the culture is pretty rotten. It has gotten to the point that sometimes it seems to me to be beyond repair, but then, there is always something or someone who reminds me to hope. At Guadalupe Roastery, we have faith that a restoration of culture is not only necessary, but totally possible and we would love nothing more than to help turn the tide away from that which is perverse and send it rushing toward the restoration of goodness, truth, and beauty!

There are plenty of companies who are helping to perpetuate the decay of the culture. So, why shouldn’t there be some, like us, who are fighting the good fight? We may stand little chance, pitting ourselves against some veritable giants, but, then again, David knocked out Goliath with a single stone…and, well, everyone loves rooting for an underdog!

So, there you have it, when you purchase a bag of Guadalupe coffee, you’re fighting that battle with us and you are far more than just a customer. Won’t you join the good-fight?

 

Sincerely,

Taresa Fassbender

The Founder’s wife

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Guadalupe Roastery Purchases Entire Harvest From Nicaraguan Farm

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Guadalupe Roastery purchases entire harvest from Nicaraguan Farm

12,000 Pounds of Single Farm, Single-origin, Organic, Small-batch Roasted, Speciality-grade Coffee!

Support farmers by purchasing Guadalupe Roastery Coffee.

Watch Video Below For More Details

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In 2012, while attending the Ave Maria University – Latin America campus, Rolyn Garcia met Lorena Altamirano. Rolyn was studying philosophy and business, Lorena was studying business and marketing. As they got to know each other, their mutual passions led to soaring dreams of what they could accomplish together. They began dating that year, and married shortly after they had both graduated.

Though they had the opportunity to move to the United States to work and start their new life together, Rolyn and Lorena chose a different path. They both agreed that they wanted to use their personal gifts and talents to help serve the poor in Nicaragua. Lorena had grown up on her father’s coffee farm and had spent her early life helping work in almost job on the farm. And so, Rolyn and Lorena bought some land next to her dad’s farm and began growing coffee to help provide a better future for the people in their community.

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Through Paul Rush, another Ave Maria alumni, Rolyn and Lorena were introduced to Brad Fassbender, the founder of Guadalupe Roastery. At the time, Brad was purchasing coffee to roast through brokers, but wanted to be in a direct relationship with the farmers growing the beans. Rolyn and Brad began to talk, and in August 2017 Brad mad his first direct purchase of Rolyn’s coffee.

This was a dream come true for Rolyn and Lorena as Brad was able to pay a much better price than the other conventional ways of trading coffee. This also fulfilled Brad’s dream as Guadalupe Roastery was now in direct relationship with its farmers.

In November, Brad and his business partner, Tom, decided to go meet Rolyn and Lorena on their farm in the mountains of Nicaragua. In their time there, the dream of truly doing business differently became even clearer to Brad and Tom. They realized they were not just writing and signing a contract, they were forming business relationships in trust. Rolyn and Lorena’s passion for serving their community left a lasting impact on both Brad and Tom. They knew they wanted to help more, so Brad and Tom decided to purchase Rolyn and Lorena’s entire 2017-2018 crop of 12,000lbs of coffee beans.
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This means that more money is going directly to Rolyn and Lorena, who can, in turn, build up their community’s access to education and healthcare. One of the immediate goals of Rolyn, Lorena, Brad. and Tom is to build a one or two room school to help the children in the community learn how to read and write. This is what making the decision to do business differently can do.

When you purchase from Guadalupe Roastery, your cup of coffee is one degree removed from the farmers who produced it. Your money goes directly to the farmers, their families, and the community, to help bring people out of poverty. Just by changing out your cup of coffee, you can change the world.

You may purchase a subscription to Nicaraguan Coffee as well as purchase other varieties of products in our online store. However, for a limited time, we would like to invite you to partner with us in supporting Rolyn and Lorena by purchasing 3 lbs at a discounted rate. This special offer will include FREE shipping!
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For Sale

Until We Meet Again

I am a bit behind in posting this week, but for good reason.

Brad’s grandmother passed, causing him to make an impromptu trip to Wisconsin for her funeral. She lived a long and good life – she would have been 92 years old next month. She was a simple woman with a heart of gold – a devoted wife and mother of 11 children with 32 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

And, in the spirit of her simple and gentle way, our hearts and minds were nudged during this time to make a big decision.

We have decided that the time has come for us to leave Ave Maria.

It is with terrible sadness and yet, an incredible joy that I write those words.

Even before his grandmother’s death, Brad and I had been talking a lot about the future and what and where God might be calling us to next. Brad had much time to contemplate all of this while away and, in particular, the Gospel reading at the funeral and a radio recording of Fulton J. Sheen on his drive home from the airport caught his attention. The gist of his reflection is this: Jesus calls us to “come” to Him and then he asks us to “go” (and make disciples of all nations).

For us, our move to Ave Maria was very much a “coming.” It was sort of like a 3 year spiritual retreat.

Let me explain.

When we came to Ave Maria, we left all of our family and friends behind. We were totally out of our comfort zone, but what we found here was so nourishing. We developed friendships that were enriching and challenging yet fun and energizing. People here were not afraid to have deep and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about life and our duties and responsibilities in it.

It was exactly what we needed to grow as individuals, as a married couple, and as a family unit. It also became the spark we needed to get going and start Guadalupe Roastery.

Once we finally took the leap and began the roastery, this community’s response was more than we could have asked for. To top it off, there were countless connections made with talented and good-hearted individuals here who greatly helped advance the mission of the roastery that can only be explained as providential.

Ave Maria is where we bought our first house, where we brought home two of our babies, where we’ve made friends that are more like family, where some of those friends became business partners, and it is a community we will always be grateful to have been a part of. I am convinced that there is no place in the world that is quite like this beloved town of ours.

Now for the “going” part.

We have begun to make our preparations. We will be selling many of our things in a rummage sale and we will be listing our house for sale. We don’t expect to be leaving for at least another couple of months, though, as there are still so many loose ends we need to tie up here before we leave.

So, where are we going?

We don’t exactly know yet.

For those of you who don’t know us real well, that may come as a bit of a shock. To those of you who do, you understand that it’s just how us Fassbenders roll 🙂

We have some ideas, but are not committing to anything just yet.

We feel that nudging to go and we believe that, if we just start moving in that direction, God will show us what is next.

Who knows, we may just end up back here again one day. We do know for certain that this will always be the headquarters for Guadalupe Roastery and that we will likely be frequent visitors on account of that.

We are grateful to have the Pinters who will be able to run operations here while we are away and we are thankful for the love, support, and friendship we have experienced in Ave Maria.

With that being said, please don’t give up on us now, Ave Maria! Now is the time we need you more than ever.

Moving means that Brad will be quitting his corporate job and we will be working extra hard at developing Guadalupe Roastery.

Don’t get us wrong, we will still be running Guadalupe Roastery along with the Pinters and hopefully our moving will make our distribution even wider.

There are tons of new and exciting things to come. We invite you, and everyone else, to join in solidarity with us each morning over a steaming mug of Guadalupe coffee.

We hope to be able to give you more details in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Taresa

wife/mother/blogger/emotional

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A Guadalupe Roastery Story – Part 3 – Great Partnerships

Just when my natural skepticism started to kick in, God, like He so often does, gave us the right people at just the right time.

We were introduced to Tom and Paula through mutual friends in Ave Maria, FL.

As we got to know them more, we developed a friendship. Tom is the owner of a successful memorial business and, during the time that Brad was publishing Waterside Neighbors magazine in Naples, FL, Tom was advertising his business and his exclusive garden art pieces in it. Brad and Tom began talking about Guadalupe Roastery and Tom became really interested in what we were doing. Tom was looking for an investment, but, more than that, he wanted to get involved because he loved the idea behind the company. A partnership with Tom and Paula was the logical next step. It was exactly what we needed.

Tom has invaluable knowledge and wisdom when it comes to operating a business. Brad and Tom work well together and have a deep respect for one another and a mutual trust. Paula, who has become a good friend of mine, is bilingual, very sociable, well organized, and is unmatched when it comes to planning events. Her and I work well together also and have an enjoyable time doing it! We can bond over the joys and struggles of motherhood and over being married to entrepreneurs with big ideas.

Tom’s place of business had a large enough space to section off for Guadalupe Roastery to set up shop and so, we bought the big daddy roaster and started to move in.

We welcomed baby #3 to our family and found the need to consume a whole lot more of our delicious product.

Then, Paul and Bing Rush (friends of ours who run a mission called Guadalupe Gardens in Nicaragua), introduced us to Rolyn and Lorena Garcia. Rolyn and Lorena are coffee farmers and great people to be in partnership with. We believe in what they’re trying to do on their coffee farm in Nicaragua and we love their heart for their hired workers and their local community.

Tom and Brad made their first trip to Rolyn and Lorena’s coffee farm this past October (2017).

They brought along Travis Ratcliff (film director extraordinaire) and his amazing crew who produced a beautiful video detailing our partnership.

When Brad and Tom returned, they were both so fired up about their trip and all that they had witnessed and experienced.

When I saw the video Travis produced, I got fired up too. Any bit of skepticism I had left faded away. Not only did I now totally understand the vision Brad had for this company all these years, but I FELT it. It may have taken me a while, but I was finally 100% on board.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, it’s a must see:

We’re incredibly thankful for our relationships and friendships with Tom and Paula and with Rolyn and Lorena. It is so reassuring to no longer feel like we’re in this thing on our own, and to have good and reliable people on our side.

So, where do we go from here?

Subscribe to our email list to keep in touch with what’s brewing in our world.

Taresa

wife/mother/blogger/grateful

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A Guadalupe Roastery Story – Part 2 – Down to Business

Floral Coffee

A Guadalupe Roastery Story – Part 1 – Beginnings

As promised, I will tell the beginning of the story of Guadalupe Roastery in this blog post, but first let me introduce myself and my husband, Brad.

Brad and I are both from relatively small towns in the great state of Wisconsin.

Brad has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a heart for the poor. The idea behind Guadalupe Roastery was developed in his mind long before he and I ever met. In fact, he went to Honduras in 2008 with the plan to begin a coffee cooperative. Thanks to a rainy day, a cow in the road, a totaled rental car, and a lack of savings to fall back on, he ended up working on a coffee farm for $5 a day and eventually had to come back to the states to look for employment.

He got a job in medical sales and began advancing quickly. A better opportunity presented itself near his hometown, and he took it. All the while, he lived as simply as possible and saved. He never forgot the idea. He was saving for a second go at it, and this time he would be more prepared.

Then he met me.

We hit it off right away. There was so much we had in common (I happen to be a bit of a dreamer too). We talked and talked about the future and what it might hold for us. He explained his idea for a coffee cooperative. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the big picture, but I thought it was a noble idea nonetheless.

Prior to our engagement, he took me up to Door County, Wisconsin to see an old cafe/ice cream parlor that had gone up for sale. It was on a beautiful piece of lakefront property, but was in serious disrepair. Brad wanted to buy it and turn it into a coffeehouse with a roaster inside. There was a teeny tiny apartment in the upstairs and I could read his thoughts before he even spoke them. Two birds, one stone, a place of business AND a place to live.

As you can imagine, I was less than thrilled with the idea. I said nothing. Instead, I prayed for him to change his mind.

He did just that. It was too risky. He hadn’t saved enough to take such a risk, especially when he had rings and wedding bells on his mind.

Next thing you know, we were married.

Then a baby came.

Life began to take hold and it was comfortable, but Brad became restless. He felt that nagging sense of urgency to get to work – there was so much to be done.

Another big opportunity in his career presented itself in Florida. Both he and I had this odd sense of peace with the idea of picking up and moving to Florida. I had never considered Florida as a place to settle down. Call me crazy, but the alligator infested waters and venomous snake population weren’t exactly beckoning. However, upon investigating the small town of Ave Maria a bit, I was sold.

We moved in December of 2014.

Another baby came.

Now Brad wanted to buy a coffee roaster, a small one, and learn to roast coffee.

I agreed. We had saved plenty at this point and I more or less thought of it as an expensive hobby.

He took a coffee roasting class, got the roaster, and began roasting coffee on our back lanai.

Since I still hadn’t wrapped my mind around this idea of his and because it was becoming obvious that this was so much more than the small fundraising hobby I had pictured, I began to pepper Brad with questions – to which he had answers.

Now, when it comes to book smarts I’m no dummy, but I have to admit my ignorance when it comes to the ways of the world.

I was about to learn… a lot.

~To be continued next week.~

Taresa

wife/mother/blogger/perpetual student

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What’s Brewing – Media and Travel!

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Well, it’s week two of my blogging resolution and honestly, there is so much brewing at Guadalupe Roastery that I can hardly keep it all straight. Many things are in the infancy stages right now and we’ll have to keep those under wraps for the time being, but there are two things I can assure you of:

1. There will be more media coming your way!

Why more media?

First off, it’s super fun!

Secondly, we can tell you how we’re different from other coffee companies, but it’s much more effective (and way cooler) to show you!

And lastly, we’ve discovered that there are so many artistic, creative, and professional visionaries in our own backyard. We couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to put their gifts and talents into action.

We’re excited to show you what they’ve been working on – hopefully soon!

If you haven’t seen the first few productions we’ve released, you ought to check them out. The first was a short documentary detailing our relationship with a farming family in Nicaragua and their hired workers. It’s a beautifully done film by Travis Ratcliff. Check it out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dYdeV4gA_k

The second was a video produced by a local Ave Maria resident and friend, Gregg Clemons. It focuses on the coffee club – what it is and how it works. Check it out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA07RLYg4ak

We’d like to thank both of them for all of their hard work and for sharing their gifts with us.

2. We are looking to expand our distribution beyond the continental U.S.

Canada, we’re coming for ya!
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I’m really hoping this will include a family road trip! Daunting idea with three kids four and under, I know, but it’s also super exciting.

And while our neighbors to the north with likely be the first, they will not be the last to see GR set up shop. Brad already has his sights set on a few other locations. I’ll leave it at that for fear I’m inducing unnecessary anxiety for our family members who might be reading this. 🙂

Of course, I will also say that “Home-Sweet-Wisconsin” is ever on the radar screen. We’d love to see a studio and a roasting room be built in our home state, along with a place for us to live – whether it be temporary or long-term.

All of this means we’ve pretty much solidified our decision to homeschool our oldest child who will be in kindergarten this coming school year. We know it’s not the conventional choice, but we’re not real conventional people. 😉

Even without the prospect of family travel, we think homeschool is the best option for Philomena – at least at this stage of her life.

So, while that in itself is a lot brewing, there is so much more.

Andrew has some big things going on in the background too, but I’m not at liberty to share the details…yet.

What’s brewing in your world? Share with us at https://www.facebook.com/GuadalupeRoastery/

It also has occurred to me that many of you reading this have no idea who we are or how we got to this point, so next week I’ll do more of a “where we’ve been” type blog post instead of a “where we’re going” one. It will give a glimpse into our journey up until this point. It’s a long story, but I’ll try to highlight only the best parts.

That’s it for now.

I need a refill of my Nicaragua Roast!
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Fuel up and make it a good day,

Taresa

wife/mother/blogger/coffee aficionado
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What’s Brewing – New Year’s Resolutions

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Hello and happy 2018! We’ve got a lot of things brewing this year at Guadalupe Roastery. I think 2018 is going to shape up to be a pretty tremendous year with lots of new adventures!

Someone ought to blog about it, don’t you think?

Well, I’ve decided to make that my New Year’s Resolution!

The blog, with the new title, What’s Brewing, will give you a sneak peak into the goings on at Guadalupe Roastery and into our family’s journey through it all.

If you’re a member of the Coffee Club, you already receive the Brewing Bulletin each month, which is a great way to learn about the farmers we’re working with and to stay connected to other Coffee Club members. This blog, will be a different way to stay connected. My hope is that, through it, you can feel like you’re really a partner in this mission with us – because you are!

It’s not just for Coffee Club Members either, feel free to share it.

Brad’s biggest wish this year is to be able to quit his corporate job – don’t tell his boss 😉

While it has given our family a major sense of security during the startup of GR, we are hoping that this is the year he can leave it behind and really focus on his dream with this coffee company!

My dream? To become a farm girl of course – hey, it could happen!

I’m taking my motto for the year from none other than the brave and faithful St. Joan of Arc
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So that’s what’s brewing at Guadalupe Roastery.  Oh, and some delicious Ethiopian coffee of course. What’s brewing at your house?

Share your coffee photos on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/GuadalupeRoastery/
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Until next time,

Taresa

wife/mother/blogger/hopeful farm-girl 😉
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If You Build It, Rolyn Garcia Will Come…

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Help us order 4500 lbs of coffee from our partnering farmer in Nicaragua by getting us to 100 orders of Nicaraguan coffee this week! We can do it!

One of movies that remains with the American psyche is “Field of Dreams.” It was a movie that touched the core of the human spirit – a movie that brought hope. Kevin Costner’s character, Ray, inspired us all. Ray went against contemporary logic and acted on a belief and vision he had. The voice, “if you build it, they will come” was real to Ray, so real that he could even see it. Against all odds, he built it and they came.

Guadalupe Roastery is its own “field of dreams” in a way. We are building a dream. A dream that is going to have an impact on a lot of people’s lives, not only right here in Florida and the USA, but for people all over the coffee producing regions of the world.

This month will mark the first direct coffee bean purchase from a farm in Nicaragua. This means a more personal business relationship and more money directly in the farmers’ hands.  The farmer we are directly working with is Rolyn Garcia. Rolyn grows some of the best specialty coffee in Nicaragua. He is an expert in his field.  With Guadalupe Roastery’s collaboration, Rolyn will share and demonstrate his knowledge with 30 other small coffee farmers who are located nearby Guadalupe Gardens – a missionary center and partner of Guadalupe Roastery. The Guadalupe Gardens missionary hub will serve as a headquarters where these local farmers can meet and learn from Rolyn and other experts producing high quality specialty coffee in Nicaragua.

This effort could have a huge impact on the lives and well-being of these coffee farmers and their families. Over the course of each coffee season, they will be harvesting a higher quality bean, which directly impacts the price they can get for their product. When you purchase Guadalupe coffee, you know that your purchase will directly impact coffee farmers’ lives. After all, Guadalupe Roastery is Coffee for the Common Good.

You can buy the Nicaraguan coffee here: http://sandbox.blackstripeventures.com/product/nicaragua-organic/

Below – see our appeal to customers to help us buy beans in bulk from Rolyn Garcia!


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