Coming Sunday is Mother’s Day and I cannot stop thinking about my mom. It has been too many years since the last time I celebrated it with her because we live far apart, but I was lucky to spend some time with her a few weeks ago.
As many other mothers my mom is wise. Thanks to her most used phrases that are engraved in my brains, her wisdom can reach me even with an ocean in between. “Rome was not made in one day” is an all time favourite. How does this relate to coffee? Allow me to elaborate…
Four years ago I started my coffee business out of passion for coffee. During these years I had a daily job working as a researcher at a university in The Netherlands. Before that I worked as a civil engineer in Mexico and Ecuador. Coffee was just a hobby until I had this brilliant idea to make it a business: my business. But I am not the only one with this passion in The Netherlands. Competition is fierce, but at the time I thought that the coffee that I import and roast is sooo good that it will sell by itself. Well, not really. How can it sell by itself if people cannot easily find it online, or if no one has tasted it?
And so the biggest adventure began when I realized, after selling coffee only to my parents-in-law and my husband’s best friends during the first months, that I will need much more than just delicious coffee to run a coffee business.
During my lunch time at the university, in the evenings, weekends and even on the plane going to a conference (as part of my daily job) I have learned more about coffee, I have learned about marketing, psychology, blogging, latte art. And there is sooo much more that I need to learn. Engrano has more customers now (thank you all!) and also retailers. Engrano keeps growing every year not only because of my effort but also because of all the help I have had. My husband has helped enormously on daily basis. My costumers are helping spreading the word. Friends keep giving us great ideas. And, with an ocean in between my mom has helped too. Every time some new idea fails or just doesn’t work as well as I thought it would I can hear in my brain my mother’s words: Rome was not made in one day. Ok, she says it in Spanish: Roma no se hizo en un dia. Indeed, neither Rome nor Engrano will be successful in one day, or in one month. So then, comforted by my mom’s wisdom, I look for a plan b, for a new idea, for something else to try.
And now for Engrano to grow even more I have decided to stop with my daily job and make my passion my full time job.
This month the story of Engrano is published in Ecuador in a monthly magazine called Vistazo. I think my mom will be proud!