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The Z Beans Stories

Now, four years later, we have come a long ways. From 65lbs of coffee to 27,000lbs of coffee - to coffee shops and a roasting facility - to an incredible team in Ecuador and in The States, we have scaled. But, as we continue to grow, Arturo remains in the center of it all. 

We've overcome some major obstacles with Z Beans over the past four years, but none have impacted me more than this one. I never could have imagined telling every teammate we have that they would no longer have a job tomorrow. I never could have imagined our Mercer Village store only serving 20 customers per day. I never could have imagined any of this. But, one thing is forsure - I couldn't do this without my brothers by my side. 

Calm is contagious. 

Now, with a team of 15 students and three professors, we are planning to embark this summer on the first Mercer On Mission Ecuador trip with the goal of creating a sustainable supply chain that allows us to export high quality Ecuadorian chocolate yet with a purpose of immersing ourselves in the Ecuadorian culture!

When Arturo sent me this picture, I realized that the change in mindset that Arturo and I have thought so much about - the mindset that we have instilled in all of the farmers we have the opportunity to work with - has finally come to the forefront. 

Now, the ball is in my court...

In every experience, there is a lesson to be learned. But, from this one, I've witnessed just how much I have to be thankful for. Together, we will forever overcome and achieve. Together, we ride on... 
The trips to Ecuador have opened my eyes to the world around me. But, perhaps none as much as this one. I've read about issues with water supply, rainfall, and water contamination, but I've never experienced it first hand. The most basic necessity of life, something I, admittedly, take for granted, isn't always a given...
Leonardo and I joined forces once again yesterday, January 11, 2020, as we began working on our chocolate processing facility in Zaruma, Ecuador. While Leonardo and I will be working on painting and laying concrete over the next few days, the goal is for this job to never end. The goal is for Z Beans Chocolate to bring stability - For it to be something where Leonardo, and hopefully many other people of Ecuador, can find financial peace...
While we will have standard chocolate with varying amounts of cocoa, our focus will be on chocolate bars infused with fruits from our farmer's plantations. We will purchase our chocolate directly from farmers, like our coffee, and we will purchase fruits from their plantations as well. We will dehydrate the fruits, grind them down, and infuse the fruit within the chocolate...

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