Improving Lives, Sustainable Practices, Extraordinary Coffee
In 2018, Leticia and Harry Hutchins founded Alma Coffee on the concept of bringing Direct Trade coffee's positive impact on the coffee industry to light while also striving to make ethically sourced farm-to-cup coffee accessible to everyone.
Alma's story began over five generations ago in the remote mountains of Honduras where Leticia, a fifth-generation coffee farmer, was (quite literally) born to be in the coffee industry. Her father and co-founder of Alma, Al Lopez, was born and raised in coffee farms in Honduras before immigrating to the United States; Growing up, Al kept the family coffee farming legacy alive by taking Leticia every year to visit the family coffee farms in Copan, Honduras!
Leticia and Harry (H&L) met when they were just 16 years old in high school. A few years later, after graduating from college and landing their dream jobs as consultants at Big 4 accounting firms, H&L couldn't help but feel as though they weren’t doing their part to make the world a better place. They began to use all their vacation time to visit the family coffee farms in Honduras with Leticia’s father, Al, and quickly fell in love with the positive impact they knew they could make on the world through Direct Trade. It didn’t take very long for them to realize their life passion was to continue the family coffee business, and that's when Alma Coffee was born!
The Generational Timeline
Delfina Alvarado (Leticia's Grandmother & 3rd generation coffee farmer) purchased 200 acres of farmland and named it Finca Terrerito, which translates to “little piece of land.”
Al Lopez (Leticia's father & 4th generation coffee farmer) purchased Finca T from his mother. A few coffee trees were planted, but the land was primarily used for cattle.
Al Lopez retires from his corporate career and fully devotes himself to making Finca T a model farm. Acres of coffee trees were planted, and infrastructure was built for processing clean water, electricity, and housing.
Harry and Leticia Hutchins (5th generation coffee farmers) leave their corporate careers to vertically integrate their farms with a USA based roastery. For the first time, the family roasted their own coffee and Alma coffee was born. Leticia was also gifted her own coffee farm, Finca La Unica, making her one of the few women coffee farm owners in the community.
2020 & 2021 was a trying year for all small businesses, but it was also a year for Alma to pivot & push ourselves further than we ever imagined. The hustle continues into 2022 as we expand our national presence while staying true to our community roots. We can’t wait to continue our farm-to-cup mission this year!
We founded Alma on the same 3 key pillars in which our family coffee farms were founded upon: improving lives, sustainable practices, and extraordinary coffee. Improving Lives is something that the Alma team practices every day in the communities we touch. At our farm, we employ and provide suitable living conditions for over 250 coffee pickers during harvest season. At our roastery, each team member is a member of our family, and we hope to be their lifelong career path or a crucial steppingstone in achieving their career goals. We are constantly in search of more Sustainable Practices from farm to cup, which is why we chose to roast on state-of-the-art Loring Smart Roasters at our U.S.-based roastery (fun fact: we actually had the first Loring roaster in the state of Georgia)! Not only are Loring Roasters USA-made in Santa Rosa, California, but they are the most fuel-efficient & environmentally sustainable roasters on the market producing 80% less emissions than traditional commercial roasters. Extraordinary Coffee is the fruit of our family legacy. With so many options in the specialty coffee industry, we distinguish ourselves by being able to control the quality of our coffee from the moment it is first planted at our farms until the first sip you experience in that perfectly brewed cup. When you make the choice to drink Alma Coffee, you make the choice to directly support coffee farmers and make a positive impact on the industry we all love, which in turn results in a quality cup that continues improving with each and every harvest.
Who is Alma?
If you’re wondering who Alma is, you aren’t alone—“Alma” translates to “Soul” in Spanish. We chose this name for a few reasons: its direct translation to the word “soul” fully encompasses the heart and soul that we put into our coffee, not just from us today but also the many coffee farming generations before us. In addition to being a female noun in Spanish, our name pays homage to women who, despite being greatly underrepresented, play a vital role in the coffee industry. Being proudly women owned ourselves, it is our responsibility to represent their hard work and dedication.
Like our name, our iconic blue bag is the perfect visual representation of our story: the three birds represent our three pillars—improving lives, sustainable practices, and extraordinary coffee. The birds, known as “Macaws,” are the national bird of Honduras, and they can be found in the Copan region where our family farms are located; The bold and vibrant Alma blue, on the other hand, pays homage to the national flag of Honduras. On the sides of our coffee bags, you'll also notice graphics that illustrate our ownership over every step of process—from first planting our coffee trees to packaging & shipping your freshly roasted order, our family and tight-knit team controls every single step of the process. Pick up a bag today to see the beauty of our packaging for yourself.
From Farm to Cup
When it comes to coffee, there are a lot of options to choose from out there! We founded Alma knowing very well that we were entering a competitive and over-saturated industry, but we have stayed committed to what makes our family coffee story unique: our full vertical integration! Farm-to-cup is a term you may hear quite often in the 4th wave coffee industry—but what does it mean? To us, farm-to-cup means owning and operating the entire agricultural and coffee roasting process. Coffee from Alma Family Farms never leaves our family’s care, and this results in an extraordinary cup of coffee that has been cared for diligently and roasted expertly before every brewing into your morning cup.
If you're wondering what vertical integration entails, here is a condensed explanation:
Planting → Nurturing → Harvesting → Wet Processing → Dry Milling → Exporting → Importing → Warehousing → Roasting → Grinding → Brewing
More Than Direct Trade
As farm owners, sustainability is everything to us. Our family farms are USDA Certified Organic, certified Shade Grown Bird Friendly, certified Con Manos de Mujeres, and certified Fair Trade TSA. These certifications exhibit our promise of growing coffee sustainably, treating our employees ethically, and caring for our environment responsibly.
Alma Coffee is also proudly certified service-disabled veteran-owned. We thank Al Lopez for his service in the USA military and buy American made whenever possible. From our Loring Smart Roasters to our Slayer Espresso Machine, we love finding companies that are innovating our industry right here in the USA!