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The Z Beans Stories

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. 

In May of 2016, a group of students from Mercer University came to perform different activities in the area, one of which concerned coffee. It was there I met Shane Buerster, an economics student, who already had a basic understanding of Spanish and an interest in the production of coffee. Shane and I formed a great friendship, as he was always with me, asking me questions about coffee... 
For the first time, Arturo, Marie, and Fabricio are going to purchase, process, and send 4,000 pounds of coffee without me being in Ecuador. It's a big step for Z Beans' long-term sustainability, and it is a big step for Arturo, Marie, and Fabricio as well...
It hurt losing The Next Big Idea. I thought about it for many days and nights. Could I have done something differently? Now, thinking back on it, if I'd have won the competition, Z Beans would not be where it is today. Momentary satisfaction may have prevented me from taking a leap of faith - from giving me the fire to prove Z Beans is more than 'just coffee.' 
Carter and I are both grateful for the opportunities afforded to us in 2018. We have both learned a great deal about business and ourselves. However, we are excited to move on to 2019. A new year brings a clean slate - a set of new opportunities and a set of new obstacles. 
When I started Z Beans, I never thought I'd find someone willing to sacrifice as much as I do. Would anyone else be willing to forego a higher paying job? Would anyone else be willing to get 5 hours of sleep a night? Would anyone else be willing to take a 15 hour bus ride? Would anyone else be willing to live in the office? Would anyone be willing to take it, so Z Beans can make it? 
Night time rolls around. I have a tough time sleeping. I stay awake, imagining the day when I can easily buy all of Mr. Ochoa’s coffee. I think of all the difficulties he and his family must be facing. Why does he so desperately need the money? What’s wrong?

El Sexmo once produced a 3.5-pound gold nugget, which was given as a gift to the King of Spain. Because the King was so impressed, he reduced the royal tax from one-fifth to one-sixth (‘Sexta’ in Spanish). The mine, from that day forward, became known as El Sexmo...

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