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Meet the Producer:

Augusto Castillo

The Castillo family has been producing coffee in Huehuetenango, Guatemala for over 100 years. In the last three years, Augusto and his father have taken over the stewardship of that century-long legacy. Their farms, Colomba and Miracerros, are located on steep hillsides at over 5,000 feet of elevation. This altitude, along with Augusto’s skill and care in growing and processing, are creating some of the finest Guatemalan coffees Sweet Bloom has ever been privileged to share.

When asked, Augusto says he loves the opportunity to grow coffee. “I love being able to provide jobs and the income people need to improve their lives. And Huehue is such a beautiful place, and it makes such beautiful coffee.”

Augusto & his father

Augusto clearly loves what he does, but he also acknowledges the challenges of producing great coffee. The low, fluctuating prices for coffee in the commodity market make it difficult for farmers to survive economically. In the last year the commodity price in Guatemala was anywhere from $0.90/lb – $1.38/lb, it is currently (9/21/2023) at $1.58/lb. That’s not nearly enough to cover their costs of production. To make any profit at all, farms must attempt to produce specialty quality coffee, which can be sold for nearly 2-5x the commodity market price. This is no easy task. Growing specialty quality coffee requires focused attention on every detail of the coffee production process. Right now, about 30% of Augusto’s crop reaches that level of quality – and we applaud him for that success as he continually strives for more.

Lush landscape

Sweet Bloom enthusiastically partners with producers like Augusto because he grows such beautiful coffee. What we know is that Augusto’s success is also our success. We also know that our success depends on careful and thoughtful producers like Augusto!

We recently asked the Castillos how we could be a better partner in our coffee relationship. Augusto’s answer comes quickly. “One of the biggest challenges for us is cash flow. I have to pay the people who pick our coffee every week during the harvest season. But we do not get paid for that coffee until months after the harvest is over. Do you think you’d be able to pay
some of the price up front, during the harvest?” The answer to that is an easy yes for Sweet Bloom. We know when the Castillos can focus on beautiful coffee, not on cash flow, then we can share beautiful coffee with you. That’s a beautiful partnership.

Welcome to your beautiful cup of coffee.

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