"Family is at the heart of our business"
Colco Coffee began in a farm in Salazar, Norte de Santander, Colombia with Don Jose and remains a family business sourcing and roasting Colombia’s finest coffees. Our products are named after family members and also after terms of endearment. Our Master roaster Angela (Don Jose’s Daughter) grew up on the plantation and fell in love with Coffee at a very early age.
Angela would often follow her father around the plantation and help him pick the plants. It was here where she learnt the importance of each bean and crop which has helped us source the finest quality coffee to this day. At its peak Don Jose’s farm was responsible for one of the finest productions of Supremo Arabica which is recognised as one of the worlds finest coffees.
Unfortunately due to the ever increasing conflict which struck Colombia, several farmers were forced to vacate their farms and livelihoods in search of work and safety in nearby City’s. The Rojas family which included Don Jose, His wife Dona Ester and their four children, Angela, Esperanza, Cruzdelina and Pacho all moved to the city of Cucuta in Norte De Santander. Don Jose would travel back to attempt to visit the farm however access soon became near impossible and with older age setting in he was no longer able to cultivate the crop as required and unfortunately trading stopped.
Angela was now a young women who had began a career as a hairdresser however she had dreams and aspirations of one day re-igniting the farm so would sometimes work with local farmers to roast their coffee using the techniques her father had taught her all those years ago. One day she met an Englishman who was working in Colombia and the relationship blossomed. After a few years together they gave birth to a son Joseph (Joe) who was named after her father Jose. They had discussed plans to bring the farm back to life however the conflicts and drug crime in Colombia in the early 90’s was at an all-time high and after a couple of close encounters they decided to move to the UK to raise their son in safety.
Angela began working as a Hairdresser in the UK however her passion for Coffee soon sparked after joining a London Based coffee roaster helping them to roast & develop their house blends. Angy worked here as a roaster and experimented with various coffees and profiles. After several years the roaster changed owners and Angela remained as their master roaster.
Sadly in 2006 Don Jose passed away. Naturally this sad news left Angela devastated and prompted her to become self-employed and start her own business. At this point Angela had maintained her contacts in Colombia and made contacts within the distribution network and decided to become self-employed selling Colombian Supremo Arabica coffee which she called Don Jose Fresh Colombian Coffee after her late father. The new roaster was kind enough to allow her to utilise the roaster in exchange for her Roasting services. Don Jose was packed in gold bags with printed labels containing a picture of Salazar where she grew up. This product is still sold to this day to some of her longest standing clients who like the old packaging and reminds her of where she came from.
Angela had now established herself as a supplier of the finest Colombian coffee and had gained a diverse client base. She would often be asked for certain types of coffee other than Colombian due to her experience with roasting and extracting the finest taste from various beans. It was at this point that she re-branded to Salazar Coffee. Through Salazar – The Home of Coffee, Angela was able to showcase coffees from around the world and supply customers with varying blends and roast profiles. Her son Joe was older now and would help her with delivery’s and packing and began learning how to roast using the same techniques used by his grandfather Don Jose.
Angela opened a market stall in the heart of London. Angela would use this stall to allow her customers to sample the various coffees on offer. One day her and her son travelled to Colombia to visit the coffee farmers she had been working with and Don Joses farm which had now been left unused and derelict and it was here when her memories came back of her childhood and her fondness of the plantation.
Angela and Joe met with other local farmers in Salazar and was sad to see that many local farms were no longer being used to cultivate coffee due to families leaving the area and moving to the cities. It was at this point that the idea for Colco Coffee began. The drive behind Colco Coffee (Name being made from the words “COLombian COffee”) was to promote Colombia’s finest Coffee and support Colombian coffee farming with the dream to regenerate Don Joses farm.
Angela took over the ownership of the farm and registered with Colombian Federation of Coffee farmers to begin cultivating of the farm however access restrictions and lack of financial backing meant that the process is in its infancy. By now Angela had been supplying her Don Jose Colombian coffee utilising the alliance formed with a group farmers who were still producing Supremo Arabica.
Fast forward to 2020 and Colco Coffee was born. As well re-branding, Angela purchased a traditional Toper Coffee Roaster and began working from their new location in Hanger Lane, London. She began taking orders from their clients however unfortunately we were all hit with the global Covid Pandemic. This led to several clients closing. During this time she worked on building new relationships and planning for the future with help from their customers who have supported them through this journey.
What does the future hold for Colco Coffee? We plan on working with other farmers to help them build better futures for their families and regenerate not only the family farm but other coffee plantations. By doing this we hope to empower the future generations of coffee farmers and help to build a sustainable future for coffee production. We are in talks with coffee farmers who roast at origin as well as farmers who wish to work with us directly so the future looks promising and the journey will be the reward.
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