Since joining our program, Maria grew her revenues 25x and supported 9 jobs.
Maria Palacio is a 5th generation Colombian coffee farmer, and founder and CEO of Progeny Coffee, LLC. Sourcing from Colombian coffee farmers exclusively, roasting the beans in Sunnyvale, CA, and distributing to Bay Area businesses, Progeny Coffee has a unique approach that allows them to certify a fixed price, doubling the farmer’s income while still getting an extremely competitive price to the end consumer. Progeny Coffee’s mission is to serve as a distribution platform to empower coffee farmers and help them lift themselves out of poverty.
When we met Maria, her production was constrained by her the limitation on the number of hours she could secure at the shared roaster she had been renting. She had one of the best business problems to have: she couldn’t keep up with the growing demand! She wanted to open her own roasting and retail facility, but needed the capital to purchase inventory and hire employees. A $100,000 loan from PCV’s lending program enabled this expansion. As part of the PCV’s Good Jobs, Good Business model, Maria also gained access to our portfolio of thousands of volunteer advisors.
We matched Maria with Poorvaja Kamalapuri, a Strategic Partnerships Associate at Google. Poorvaja specializes in identifying growth opportunities for businesses incorporating Google products. She is also slowly but surely becoming a PCV Champion advisor, having already worked with two businesses owners since signing up to the volunteer program.
Maria brought some coffee for Poorvaja when they meet in person at the Google campus. Since that first meeting in early Fall, they’ve really enjoyed getting to know each other. Some of the projects they have worked on to allocate and maximize Maria’s working capital. Progeny’s progress include: defining processes to sustain cash flow and adjusting sales mix of wholesale coffee bags sales and retail store offerings to maximize profitability. They have also further discussed and arranged plans to hire more sales people, buying a new truck for deliveries and securing a larger space for roasting operations.
Poorvaja says she considers being a PCV Business Advisor “great for folks who have bandwidth and desire to give advice” and is “thankful for the platform” that allowed her to connect with Maria, who’s been busy following Poorvaja’s suggestion to keep creating partnerships with other companies to generate new leads. We are excited to continue supporting their partnership as it — and Maria’s business– continues to thrive. In 2018 Maria grew her revenues 25x and supported 9 jobs!