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?

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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.~


wife/mother/blogger/perpetual student