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The Z Beans Stories

As I continue reflecting, I realize that it's the actual act of reflection that has strengthened my 'Why' - the purpose that allows me to log early mornings and late nights - the purpose that gives me confidence when problems arise - the purpose that now stands at the forefront of a company of more than 40 employees. 

As we always do, we get out of the truck and begin following Diego and his brother through the plantation. I see the beautifully oriented crops - the wonderful shade created by the orange trees - the steep slope - the healthy, ripe coffee cherries. In the process, I forget all about the altitude. I take it all in and appreciate the hard work that the Jaya family has put into this...

Carter and I are set to leave for Ecuador in a week, so I want to make sure our itinerary is set. Over the course of the past year, we have saved up money in order to pay for all of our travel, lodging, food, and entertainment costs. With the current budget, we will be a few dollars short, so we must find a place to cut costs. We can't skimp on food or lodging - and the bus tickets to Ibarra and Guayaquil are fixed. But, what about that taxi cost? What if there was an alternative? 
As I sit down and reflect, I can honestly say that without Jessica we wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are today. Her ability to take an idea that I have - or sometimes a horrendous sketch - and put it to life has forever changed Z Beans...
Isabel started on the first mural at Mercer Village the week of May 13. In less than 3 days, she effectively captured the image I was hoping to portray - an image showcasing the love between Marie and Fabricio and the friendship between the two and Arturo... 
Today, as I stand in the basement of our roasting facility, watching the coffee roaster, I think back to those times. The passion with which Carlos spoke - the attention to detail Milton taught - the focus Alfredo had. I try my best to give each and every roast its due justice, not just for Z Beans’ sake, but for theirs.
While we still have a long ways to go to achieve our goal of sustainability, I'm proud of how far we have come. I hope, one day, that someone else will come to El Oro, Ecuador, hoping to import coffee to their country. Whether they are doing it to help the farmers and people of Ecuador or importing incredible coffee to fill a need in their respective market, I know Arturo, Marie, Fabricio, and the farmers of Ecuador can do it. 

Opening the second coffee shop was, by far, the most difficult thing I have ever tried to do. Countless individuals came into the shop a few days before opening, confused. "You all are opening on Friday?" Some would even go so far to say, "There's no way." 

But, in case you don't already know, if there is a will, there is always a way. 

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