I've always wanted Z Beans to be different. I've wanted you to know the stories behind the coffee that we sell. I've wanted you to not only appreciate the quality of our product but the mission behind Z Beans.
I always try to be honest with myself. Coffee is a very saturated market. There are many coffee shops, coffee roasters, and coffee importers. And the large majority of them do a great job.
However, what I found was that though the industry deals directly with farmers and their families, the industry is largely impersonal. We don't know the person who has labored and sacrificed - the story of how their coffee got to The States.
When Arturo and I began exploring the idea of starting a coffee business during my junior year of college, I knew this was key - this is what would separate Z Beans from others. By default, Z Beans had the opportunity to be different. We didn't have much capital to purchase a large sum of beans; we didn't have a large network of farmers; we didn't have a cooperative to serve as our liaison; we didn't have any knowledge of import and export. But, these scarcity of resources turned out to be our greatest blessing, as we had to build Z Beans based off virtues like trust, commitment, and compassion. We had to build Z Beans through friendships.
As we have grown over the past three and a half years, we've kept the friendships at the forefront. In turn, it's allowed us to find our own uniqueness within a saturated industry, but most importantly, it has created sustainability for Z Beans and for all of the incredible families we work with in Ecuador.
With that said, as we move into 2020, we plan to take our friendships and partnerships in Ecuador a step further by adding another one of Ecuador's most prestigious agricultural products to our menu: chocolate.
Z Beans Chocolate will be committed to providing you with the highest quality Ecuadorian chocolate, while ensuring farmers and their families are paid fair-trade prices via direct trade methods.
Unlike Z Beans Coffee, the chocolate will be processed and packaged in Ecuador. With more intensive processing required for chocolate and a greater shelf life, we have the opportunity to further Z Beans' mission by creating sustainable employment in the chocolate processing facility.
Domestically, we plan to sell the chocolate and chocolate bars in our coffee shops. Could you imagine having a mocha with Ecuadorian chocolate?
While we have already laid a solid foundation logistically, we still have many more kinks to iron out. Once we have solidified the supply chain, we will bring the chocolate to market here in The States.
Our hope is that by August of 2020, you will have the opportunity to purchase Z Beans Chocolate in our coffee shops, through our website, and via local retailers.
This is a big step for us, but we are excited for the opportunities it will bring, internationally and domestically.
Z Beans Chocolate. Coming soon.