Pachamama Coffee Bar opens in East Sac

The Pachamama Coffee Bar opening in East Sacramento is not owned by your average coffee company. Indeed it is owned by 140,000 small and independent coffee farmers who organized to form Pacha Co-op in 2001.

Mollie Moisan, Director of Outreach for Pachamama since 2010, describes the co-op’s mission this way:  “Pachamama Coffee Cooperative’s focus is to bring more revenue to coffee farmers around the world through proceeds of coffee bean roasting, wholesale and direct sales of coffee in the United States and the sale of green coffee beans. Coffee is the second highest commodity next to oil, w013
yet the farmers remain amongst the poorest of producers. Our goal is to shorten the distance in the supply chain.”

The visionaries of Pachamama, Thaleon Tremain (CEO) and Nicholas Brown (Treasurer), met while working for the Peace Corps in Bolivia between 1995-1997.  Tremain served as a small business volunteer assigned to work with an agricultural cooperative in rural Bolivia. “My primary responsibility was to manage a micro-credit fund, but I did a bit of everything. The cooperative I worked with was owned by farmers that produced beans, pork, citrus and peppers. It was not a coffee producing region,” explains Tremain.  While serving in this capacity, Tremain recognized the disconnect between the farmers products and the meager payoff.

Shown here is the outside of the Pachamama Coffee Bar, which is opening in East Sacramento. / Photos by Corky Oakes

Shown here is the outside of the Pachamama Coffee Bar, which is opening in East Sacramento. / Photos by Corky Oakes

Armed with their combined Peace Corps experience and higher educations (both hold MBAs), Tremain and Brown “aspired to apply business solutions to help solve complex international development problems.”  The pair began working on the co-op concept in 2000 in Davis. “With a good business plan and a commitment to make this happen, we approached coffee cooperatives in Latin America. A few of these co-ops, and their leaders, embraced our idea and they took it to the next level,”  says Tremain.

The credit for creating the co-op should be shared with those coffee cooperatives, insists Tremain.  “It’s important to note that much of the business acumen came from our cooperative investors. For example, the first president and co-founder of Pachamama, Mr. Raul del Aguila of the COCLA Cooperative in Peru, was an experienced leader who helped to bring all the right people and vision together. While it would be convenient to take all the credit, I can assure you that Pachamama would not exist if not for the investment of human and organizational capital from our founding member-cooperative: COCLA, PRODECOOP (Nicaragua) and Manos Campesinas (Guatemala).”  Two other coffee cooperatives, La Union Regional de Huatusco of Mexico and Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-op Union of Ethiopia also joined the Pachamama co-op.

In 2006, Pachamama started selling wholesale coffee. The roastery, retail sales and administrative office opened 2012 in midtown Sacramento (919 20th Street). In 2013 the first coffee cafe opened in Davis. The East Sacramento coffee bar is scheduled to open later in October. It will be located at 3644 J Street.

In addition to the roastery and coffee bars, Pachamama sells coffee wholesale to cooperatives in northern California such as the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, the Davis Co-op and the Briarpatch Co-op in Grass Valley.  Consumers can also purchase coffee beans online, at the coffee bars or the roastery.

For more information, go to  <a href=”http://www.pacha.coop/”>http://www.pacha.coop</a> or contact Mollie Maison at  <a href=”mailto:mollie@pacha.coop”>mollie@pacha.coop</a> or 530-204-7554.

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