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The Z Beans Stories

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. 

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...
This perpetual battle rages on in my head until my daily task list begins to pervade my thoughts - I think about those counting on me to complete it. I get dressed, pack up my stuff, and head out the door. I’m ready for what the new day brings...

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