Improving Lives, Sustainable Practices, Extraordinary Coffee
In 2018, Harry and Leticia Hutchins (H & L) founded Alma Coffee with the idea of making Direct Trade coffee accessible to everyone. Although Alma Coffee may be a few years old, our 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, 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 to visit the family coffee farms every year in Copan, Honduras!
Leticia met Harry met when they were just 16 years old in high school. Having both grown up traveling abroad and while dreaming of starting their own business one day, they quickly knew they were soulmates (which directly inspired the naming of our Soulmate roast!). But, a few years later after landing their dream jobs as accountants in Chicago after finishing college, H&L started to 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 Honduras with Leticia’s father, Al, and quickly fell in love with the positive impact they new they could make on the world through the coffee supply chain. 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 Alma Familia 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!
Improving Lives, Sustainable Practices, Extraordinary Coffee
We founded Alma on the same 3 key pillars in which our farms were based on: improving lives, sustainability practices, and extraordinary coffee. Improving Lives is something that the Alma team practices every day in every community 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 stepping stone to achieving their career goals. We are constantly in search of more Sustainable Practices, which is why we chose the state-of-the-art Loring Smart Roaster, the first in the state of Georgia! Not only is it USA made out of Santa Rosa, California, but it is the most fuel-efficient roaster on the market, producing 80% less emissions as opposed to other conventional roasters. Extraordinary Coffee is the fruit of our labor. With so many options in the specialty coffee industry, we distinguish ourselves by being able to control the quality of our coffee from the time it is planted at our farms until the moment you drink your perfect 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.
Who is Alma?
If you’re wondering who Alma is, you aren’t alone. Alma actually 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 but also from the 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.
Our packaging is the perfect visual representation of our story! The three birds represent our three pillars: improving lives, sustainable practices, and extraordinary coffee. The macaw birds 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, is influenced directly from the national flag of Honduras. Pick up a bag today to see the beauty of our packaging for yourself.
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 Roaster to our Slayer Espresso Machine, we love finding companies that are innovating our industry right here in the USA!
Meet the Familia
Harry & Leticia Hutchins, Founders
Al Lopez, Founder & USA Veteran
Jonathan Peyton, Business Development
Matt Somsen, Head Barista
Kelley Bostian, Digital Media Manager
Max Folger, Roastery Operations
Ashlyn Lewis, Fulfillment Manager
Chad Bullard, Roastery Fulfillment
Matt Mullins, Head Roaster
Paula Krassa, Roastery Fulfillment