June 10, 2021
By Claudia Quezada
May 17, 2021
By Claudia Quezada
Chicago got a taste of coffee with purpose! On May 8, our Café Ama coffee arrived at the Mercado del Pueblo in Humboldt Park, where we joined a Puerto Rican community in their weekly event hosted by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.
Upon arrival, we could instantly feel the amazing and welcoming energy everyone had. As we started brewing our coffee, people would visit our booth -- excited to learn that our beans were directly from Puerto Rico! It was like bringing the community a little piece of our island to them.
Offering samples allowed us to speak with everyone. The conversation would start with “¿y de qué parte de Puerto Rico eres?" which translates to: “which part of Puerto Rico are you from?" After that, we were part of the community.
Being able to bring Café Ama to Mercado del Pueblo allowed us to see the reaction to our organization's purpose. As soon as we said that all our proceeds go to helping kids build businesses, everyone wanted to contribute. It was very rewarding to see that people not only liked the taste of our coffee, but also wanted to help. After this event, I am certain that “coffee with purpose” is the perfect description for Café Ama.
Mercado del Pueblo, boricua roots in Chicago
Mercado del Pueblo is an initiative organized by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, or PRCC, that provides free rent to vendors and artists to allow them to operate and develop businesses. The space is also open to non-Puerto Ricans – including business owners from Black communities and other Latino communities. The Mercado del Pueblo is located at the corner of Division and Rockwell streets in Humboldt Park. It’s open from 4-8 p.m. Fridays and 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Social distancing and face masks are required.
Thank you to Puerto Rican Cultural Center for the opportunity! We hope to continue sharing Café Ama with the Chicago community.
October 24, 2020
Everything I didn't know about this great day
This day has been celebrated since October 15th, 2008, when it was declared so by the United Nations. Its purpose is to recognize the hard work of these great women and their contribution to global development, food safety and the eradication of poverty. Rural women also help global climate by sowing, taking care of soil and collecting water for small populations.
It turns out, rural women face plenty of obstacles; the main one being gender discrimination. It's an unfortunate reality that affects this population. Despite being great producers, the differences in salary, opportunities and support compared to their male counterparts are quite disheartening.
Currently, with the global pandemic, as a high-risk population, women have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This, coupled by scarce resources and the high cost of sanitary requirements, makes daily life a constant struggle as female farmers.
I hope and wish with all my heart that their reality improves, as farmers and as women. The change won’t be immediate but the reward must be high to match all the hard work they do. Rural women are caretakers of the earth, mothers, entrepreneurs and fighters.
This day should be commemorated, remembered and written into our history books. It's necessary for everyone to learn about their contributions and their work so they may be properly supported and respected.
To all our rural women, may your efforts not be in vain.
July 15, 2020
Being born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and since I can remember, coffee has been a part of my mornings. I studied my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business Administration at Bentley University in Massachusetts and worked over 29 years in the financial industry.
Working in this industry allowed me to understand the importance of building relationships. As Puerto Ricans we are known to meet for “Cafecito” and when you work in finance, it becomes a necessary activity.
When I was first introduced to Café Ama in December of 2019, I was inspired to buy it as a corporate gift for my clients. The holiday season is a great time to thank those that have made your year better. I purchased Café Ama as a gift to clients because it is a coffee with a purpose. All of the sales of this social impact arabica coffee benefit students in Puerto Rico that are enrolled in the SEEDS Program.
My dream for Café Ama is to be able to sell it as a premium coffee brand that is known for its philanthropy (profits going into the youth of Puerto Rico).
Thanks to one of our SEEDs student's entrepreneurship projects, Café Ama Mothers' Day sales generated almost $3,000 to feed 290 families in Toa Baja, Guaynabo, Aibonito, Barranquitas, and Vieques. The coffee sales were used to distribute groceries to the families in the SEEDS program during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very proud of our small entrepreneurs, who are small in age but big at creating hope for Puerto Rico's future.
The ideal goal is to sell Café Ama all over the island, at airports for tourists to spread the word about its mission, and eventually sell it in all states that include “la diaspora” such as Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Texas, Washington D.C. and others.
Buying Café Ama is the perfect opportunity for all of us to contribute meaningfully and be a part of the journey of our youth in Puerto Rico.
Desiree Mieses is the Managing Partner at Lumiere Bay, she serves in the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Community Foundation and is an Advisory Board Member to Friends of Puerto Rico.
Café Ama is available for corporate purchase, for more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org