These are days we will remember for the rest of our lives. Never before have so many of us felt such collective fear and uncertainty amidst a global pandemic that threatens our health and our financial future. In the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic our partners in Honduras have shared a pressing and urgent need for which we have decided to take action.

Some influential coffee roasters across the world have made the difficult decision to reduce their coffee buying dramatically and in many cases walk away from existing producer relationships at the worst possible time: harvest. These farmers have already taken on increased risk for specialty buyers and at the time they should receive their payment for an entire year of work they find themselves with no buyer and no bailout. If they were to revert to selling their coffee to the conventional commodity market they would receive far less than their production cost requiring them to take on further debt due to their loss putting them at great risk of falling into a tragically common cycle of poverty.

These are amazing small lot family producers and their hope does not have to be crushed by this pandemic. I have always believed in the power of a community of people who care and can make the connections needed to save these harvests and futures. I have also always believed in the particular beauty and advantage of small business to resist the dehumanization of markets toward a greater potential for sustainable and meaningful impact.

The Bonaventure Coffee Project is a generative and collaborative effort led by Kevin Bohlin from Saint Frank Coffee and Benjamin Paz of Beneficio San Vicente to restore and create “good fortune” for at risk coffee producers as the name suggests but in the spirit of connectedness and service from the teaching and examples of Francis and his follower Bonaventure who expanded the way of Francis in new ways.

We are endeavoring to take on both the work to connect these coffees and additional risk to ensure these farmers can remain on their specialty coffee journey with the security and sustainability of buyer relationships with the motivation to produce and share extraordinary coffee. This need and opportunity is too great and too meaningful to be embraced solely through our typical channels.

We are aiming to import these coffees at their peak freshness and quality ultimately taking these coffees into our own position while looking for wholesale partners and offices willing to commit to buying roasted coffee from us in the next year in a variety of forthcoming ways that will allow us to buy and roast as much of this coffee ourselves and provide that connection and sustainable relationship through Saint Frank.

We are also seeking to find small specialty roasters interested in buying green microlots with full transparency in a rare opportunity of connection. As this project develops we will create more flexibility for partial lots and sizes depending on the need of the roaster. But the end goal for us to bridge as many relationships as possible between roasters and producers. Roasters need no previous direct trade experience, all that is required is a willingness to connect to delicious coffee and real producers and we will guide every step of the way at no cost to the roaster. In the following harvest season we will organize an origin trip for customers and roasters to visit with us and experience specialty coffee production and relationship sourcing with Kevin Bohlin and Benjamin Paz as guides and partners.

The Bonaventure Coffee Project is our inclusive attempt to open up the flow of this coffee journey for a greater scale of impact through a greater diversity of connection and experience. We hope you’ll join us, its worth every step!