MAY SUSTAINABLE ROASTER OF THE MONTH
SUSTAINABLE ROASTER OF THE MONTH:
From Honduras to Your Cup: Alma's Family Legacy
Alma Coffee is a family-owned and operated specialty coffee roaster located in Canton, Georgia, founded by Leticia and Harry Hutchins in 2018. The concept behind Alma Coffee is to bring the positive impact of Direct Trade coffee to the forefront, while making ethically sourced farm-to-cup coffee accessible to everyone.
Alma’s story is one that spans over five generations, beginning in the remote mountains of Honduras where Leticia, a fifth-generation coffee farmer, was born into the industry. Her father, Al Lopez, who co-founded Alma with her, was also born and raised in coffee farms in Honduras before immigrating to the United States. As a child, Al kept the family’s coffee farming legacy alive by taking Leticia every year to visit the family coffee farms in Copan, Honduras.
Leticia and Harry, first met in high school when they were just 16 years old. After completing their college education and landing coveted consulting jobs at Big 4 accounting firms, they still felt unfulfilled in their desire to make a meaningful impact in the world. They soon began using their vacation time to visit the family coffee farms in Honduras, accompanied by Leticia’s father, Al, and were deeply moved by the potential for positive change through Direct Trade. It wasn’t long before they realized that their true passion was to carry on the family coffee legacy, and that’s when Alma Coffee was born.
The positive impact they knew they could make on the world through Direct Trade left a profound impact on them, and they soon realized their life passion was to continue the family coffee business. Thus, Alma Coffee was born, a venture dedicated to the values of sustainability, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
Alma Coffee is founded on three key pillars:
The company’s commitment to sustainability is evident in everything they do, from the farms they work with to the programs they promote in-store.
Sustainability on the Farm
Alma Coffee completely avoids using any chemical pesticides by utilizing the mucilage from the coffee cherries as organic pesticide and hand-weeding the farmland. The coffee husks are collected as the coffee cherries are processed and utilized as organic fertilizer. This nutrient-rich fertilizer is so effective that it can boost reforestation four times faster than alternative fertilizers, winning Alma Coffee’s family farm, Finca Terrerito, the “Bird Friendly” certificate from the Smithsonian. Sustainable practices also extend to the way Alma Coffee treats its farm employees. Finca T provides organic food, clean water, and safe living quarters and rest areas for all farm employees as they call the farm their home during the harvest season.
Sustainability at the Café and Roastery
Alma Coffee’s sustainability practices also extend to the way they operate their café and roastery. They ship the majority of their coffee orders in recyclable mailers, which saves space in the warehouse and reduces their carbon footprint. Alma Coffee roasts on Loring Smart Roasters, which emit 80% less carbon emissions than their counterparts. The company also composts their espresso pucks and coffee chaff, which they allow customers to collect for free for use in their gardens. Customers can even buy Alma Coffee’s empty coffee sacks to use for planting potatoes or other vegetables. Alma Coffee sells reusable cups, can glasses, and tumblers in the merch store to encourage less use of one-use plastics. Additionally, Alma Coffee offers their Canister Program in-store, where customers can purchase a canister and bring it in for a refill at a discounted rate.
Airscape® Refill Program
Alma Coffee also utilizes Airscapes, which help to keep their coffee fresh while also reducing waste. The Airscapes seal the coffee and keep it fresh for longer, reducing the need for frequent coffee purchases as a result of food waste. Additionally, Alma Coffee offers discounts on refills of Airscapes to customers who bring them back, further promoting sustainability and reducing waste. This approach is not only environmentally friendly but also economical, as it allows customers to save money on their coffee purchases while supporting sustainable practices. This program not only promotes sustainability but also encourages customers to return to the cafe, building a sense of community between Alma Coffee and their customers.
Alma Coffee’s commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of their business. From their ethical sourcing practices to their environmentally friendly equipment and programs, Alma Coffee truly embodies the meaning of being a sustainable roaster. We are honored to feature them as our Sustainable Roaster of the Month for May and encourage everyone to give Alma Coffee a try!