It has been a year. One year, since we started this journey, and every day brings new challenges, new opportunities, and new joy.
When we first started our Hato Viejo project, we knew the first thing we needed to do was introduce ourselves to the wider world, and the best way we could see to do that was with free coffee. We opened our online store with a three-day promotion: 6 ounces of our coffee, any roast, ground or whole bean, for free. Really, actually free- we didn’t ask for a credit card number for future orders- we just wanted people to try it and let us know what they thought.
For those three days I worked harder and faster than I ever have and sent out 130 bags of my coffee to addresses all over the country- I even sent one to Puerto Rico. I dropped the local orders off by car, and hurried home for the next batch of orders. It was madness, but I did it. I got every single one of those orders out in three days.
A few people only heard about the promotion after the fact, so a few days later, we opened it up again for one day. By the end of the year, we had given away more than 500 of those little 6 oz bags- some to future customers, some to businesses, and some in local donations.
We really didn’t know what to expect. Neither my husband or I had ventured into the world of online business before this, and every step of the way, there was something new to learn. It was like being a first-time parent- there is no manual, but I knew I would learn, and my heart was in it. I had excellent coffee and a drive to succeed, and I knew that between the help of God, and the help of my husband, we would figure it out.
I didn’t know how much work it would be- especially with a home, husband, and two kids that needed my presence and attention. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re learning to juggle. We include the kids whenever we can, and they will grow up with an understanding of this business. But it is a little like having a new baby- my family in the Dominican Republic are feeling it- because we can’t just get on a plane to go see them now, it has to be planned well in advance. There are people counting on me for their coffee now- a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
So, a few very important Thank Yous.
Thank you to the Farmers Markets- because of you, I have the opportunity to actually know my customers. I get to hear them tell me how much they like my coffee, or comment on the article about me in the newspaper. Or the person who stopped by my booth to tell me they don’t even drink coffee, but the smell was so incredible they had to come and tell me. Or the one that looked at me and said “It isn’t just the coffee- it’s the service.” I get so many calls and emails.
Thank you to all of our partners, from farm to cup, that make Hato Viejo possible. Because of you, we get the best coffee, roasted freshly (usually within the last week) directly to people’s homes. And we’re branching out a bit- as of now, Hato Viejo Coffee is now available at the Lebanon Co-op, and Bangkok Express Food Asian Market, in Lebanon NH, Dan and Whit’s in Norwich VT, the Fat Sheep Cabins, in Windsor VT- where guests enjoy it during their stay and take a bag home, Yushak’s Market in Shushan, NY, and, of course, Elixir Restaurant in White River Junction.
So, one year later, we just want to say THANK YOU for allowing us into your homes and your coffee cups. We hope you continue to be a part of the Hato Viejo family.
May God bless you,