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Adventures in Coffee Importing, Part Two


It wasn’t any easy night. By the time Tuesday dawned, the phrase “my coffee is stuck in customs” was running on a loop through my head.

Tuesdays are my busiest day of the week since we started Hato Viejo, because after dropping the kids at school, I have two hours of driving to pick up the freshly roasted beans from the roaster, and then get home to fill all of the orders for the week.

I started the day as I normally would, trying to stay calm, and pensively awaiting the email from the broker- just hoping I would get the news in time to make the two hour trip to Boston before 5pm, when the freight company closed. I’d been so focused on getting all of the documentation together for the broker before the 5pm deadline the day before, it didn’t occur to me then to ask about the process, and how long it would all take. I decided that if I hadn’t heard by lunch, I’d call her.

When she called with a few last-minute questions, she told me that my coffee should clear customs that day, and she’d call to let me know.

As I drove to pick up my son Henry, the invoice from the broker arrived in my inbox. I pulled the car to the side of the road, and put the invoice on my credit card that very minute- if I hurried, by the time I got home, the documents would be waiting, and I could print them out and go.

By 6:00 that evening, I had made my second round-trip to Boston in two days, and I was home, safe and sound with my two beautiful diamonds (also known my kids) and my coffee beans.

They were two of the most stressful days of my life, but we did it- thanks to dogged perseverance and faith in God. It is always in the hardest moments that it becomes clear to me someone bigger than us is in charge- and I thank God for that.

Yaniris