Seven years ago, before the idea of importing coffee had even occurred to me, I got in touch with the organizer for the Lebanon Farmers Market. Beans and legumes are a huge part of the Dominican diet, and I had a dozen recipes that used lentils, garbanzos, and black and red beans- everything from salty to sweet, snack to dessert. The idea of sharing my country with the people of my new home appealed to me even then, and I started to get a little excited, but it was not to be. The deadline to apply for the year had already passed, the vendors were set, and that summer’s market would go on without me.
Over the next year, as I mulled over the challenges such a business would face- storage and preservation, maintaining quality and freshness, my confidence waned. When the application date for the next summer arrived, I let it pass me by- no longer quite so sure that this was the where I should devote my time and energy.
The idea of the market still appealed to me, though, and I kept thinking about it, listening to the suggestions others gave, and waiting. There was still a piece missing from the puzzle, and my life kept getting more complicated- in that time, I got married, we bought a house, and had a couple of kids, all while holding down a job- so finding just the right piece to that puzzle mattered a lot.
Seven years later, in the middle of a pandemic, I again contacted the coordinator for the Lebanon Farmers Market. This time, I had a plan, a product I was proud of, and I’d made the application date. Hato Viejo Coffee would be a part of the market, and I was ready.
Thursday, May 20th of this year was my first market day, and it was awesome. I felt like I had done this before, it was such a natural fit. The day felt like destiny fulfilled- it had taken seven years, but in that time I had found a passion and a new vocation I loved.
We’ll be at the Lebanon Farmers Market this summer, and we’ll also be at the markets in Hanover and Enfield too. I am so proud to show off the project that has occupied the last year of my life, so proud of my low-acid coffee, and so, so delighted to see people’s faces as they try Hato Viejo for the first time.
My heart led me here, and I am so glad that the shutting of one door didn’t distract me from the one swinging open. I am so glad I didn’t give up on the dream, and was open to change.
God bless you.