Santa Martha Cafe
P.O. Box 5
Randolph, MN 55065
We hope that the New Year has found you joyful and healthy. This past year has been
exciting and nerve racking. One of our goals with this newsletter format is to become more
transparent in where our green coffee beans come from and what we are doing with them. In
being transparent we are also doing a crowdfunding through Kiva Microfunds, a non-profit
online environment where people can lend money. For those of you, who do not follow us
digitally on Facebook or never been to our website: santamarthacafe.com our mission is
Love, Coffee and Happy Planet.
In January 2018, Ken took his 4th trip to Nicaragua with the Arbor Day Foundation. SMC has
been taking part in their Project 2050 Tree Purchasing in coffee grown regions program. It was
a refresher course on the trials that the Nicaraguan Farmers have to endure. The past year has
been even more challenging as they are experiencing a time of political unrest in Nicaragua.
In April, Ken went to a Coffee-as-Mission Conference in Seattle, WA. There he expanded his
network of coffee Producers, Processors, Exporters, Importers, Roasters and Resellers. It was
an eye-opening experience as he learned that there are many others who have the same love
for the coffee growing communities as SMC. This network has led us to other importers,
expanding our green coffee bean selection.
The Guatemalan coffee we have is from Mill47 who Ken met at the Seattle show. Their
statement is as follows ...“Our coffees are curated through direct relationships with producers or
in-country partners who work with the farms and the farming communities. These people are not
only active in helping improve production quality, efficiency and agricultural sustainability, but
are helping address other pressing issues like access to clean water, health care, and
education.”
The Tanzanian coffee I have that is available through SMC is from the Mt. Meru Project who
Ken learned of through our time living in Omaha. Their statement “Established in 1999, the
Project enables the small coffee farmers living on the slopes of Mt. Meru in Tanzania to have
funds available to send their children to school, access and pay for health care, and to support
local farm villages, markets, and merchants.”
In June, we started moving from Omaha to Southern Minnesota to help “Mother-in-Law” with
daily life. Luckily, there was enough room to clean out an office space to set up the roastery and
work area for coffee business. The remodel and relicense in MN have been a major
undertaking and costly, but worth the commitment to both family and sustaining the presence of
SMC.
In October, Ken realized he would not have enough Nicaraguan green coffee beans to make
until the end of the next harvest. Therefore, through the Coffee-As-Mission network we have
been able to supplement with similar beans from the same region. In recent conversation with
farmer Jorge, he is in the midst of harvesting his crop and is hoping to have this available for
shipping out by mid to end of February. Because Jorge is a small farmer, he cannot send me this
3500# of coffee and wait until I have some sold and send him checks every couple of weeks. I
would like to get him the money in at least two lump sums.
November 2018 we went on a family vacation to Hawaii where everyone was introduced to
coffee farms. It was fun to see an American Coffee farm and how they have the same issues as
our friends in Nicaragua. It also brought home why Hawaiian coffee is so much more expensive
in comparison to another coffee growing regions and why the need to receive a more fair-trade
price for their green beans. The biggest difference between coffee grown in the US is the
regulations/laws. US farms have to have insurance, benefits, and pay a minimum wage where
other countries do not have all the same requirements for employees. However, we have sold 3 -
12 oz bags at the necessary increased market rate cost of $34 to meet that difference.
Our Hawaiian coffee come from Paradise Meadows Orchard and Bee Farm where our goals
mesh with their goals. " • Ensuring that the farmer partners that make up our 'Ohana are fully
and fairly compensated for their efforts on our behalf, and share in our success. • Using 100%
Hawaiian coffee and macadamia nuts that are grown in a manner that protects and respects the
'aina.
• Controlling our processing from start to finish to ensure that all of our agricultural
products are the absolutely highest quality and are consistent in quality from season to season
and year to year. • Producing value-added foods and beverages that are so good that, from the
very first bite or sip you take, you regret ever having to stop."
Now we have reached 2019 and are looking forward to the new year with another KIVA loan
as mentioned at the start of this newsletter. With this loan, we are hoping that the $10,000 raised
will not only replenish our green coffee beans but help us expand our goal of reducing our
carbon footprint by introducing solar power into our roastery. Please check out our profile at…
We here at SMC hope, you have enjoyed our first newsletter. We are very grateful for all our
customers who have supported our mission. Please contact us with any questions/concerns you
may have at ken@santamarthacafe.com
Thank you! Love, Coffee and Happy Planet., Ken and Ruth Exner Santa Martha Cafe Roastery