Weekly Business Profile
Villa Myriam Single Source Coffee
Type of business:
Villa Myriam Single-Source Coffee and Coffee House
2420 Midtown Place Northeast #H
Albuquerque NM 87107
Every day, approximately 587,040 cups of coffee are consumed in Albuquerque. Brothers David and Juan Certain want some of that coffee to be their family’s coffee, Villa Myriam. Picked at the family plantation in Colombia, roasted at their coffee shop right here in town and sold at retail outlets, restaurants, and their own shop. Juan and David are steeped in the tradition of coffee. They grew up racing through the family’s coffee producing hacienda in the legendary region of Piendamó, Colombia, under the watchful eye of their grandfather. This is the same grandfather who built the hacienda and planted the fields back in the mid 1960s, in honor of his daughter, Myriam. The hacienda, Villa Myriam, yields some of the coffee for which Colombia is so well known. From a young age they were taught, by their grandfather, to hand pick and sort through the coffee berries (or “cherries” as they’re called, due to the berries’ red color). They helped remove the berry flesh and dry the bean inside. From there they continued to learn by doing, determining which beans work for which kind of coffee. Of course, that includes sorting the green coffee with honed senses; smell, touch, sight and taste inform the brothers how to handle each bean; more technical skills are brought into play with the coffee’s roasting. Even then, during and after the roasting, the brothers were exposed to bringing out the bean’s best flavor potential, distinguishing light beans from dark and grading them by color coded categories. The next step, the brewing, is everyone’s expertise, and it is where the boys’ hard work really came to matter—no amount of planning or knowledge make up for a poorly brewed cup of coffee.As the boys got older they grew away from Villa Myriam. Juan became an Industrial Designer with a background in finance and budgeting. David explored technology and customer service. With family connections in Albuquerque, and New Mexico’s beauty and diversity at their fingertips, they both relocated to the Desert Southwest. While they were happy with their jobs, they missed Villa Myriam, and they missed their coffee-driven life. So the brothers decided to bring Villa Myriam to Albuquerque, without compromising what they believed in: That Villa Myriam continue to be a family operation, worked by families that had supported Villa Myriam for generations. They stood by the traditional, small-batch procedures that were already in place. There were no questions regarding their long-standing commitment to best practices for sustainable, green agricultural efforts, as well as their support of Fair Trade efforts. They just needed to put it all in place; so they did.Today Villa Myriam coffee, roasted by the brothers on site at their coffee house,Villa Myriam Specialty Coffee Roasters & Shop, at 2420 Midtown Place Northeast #H Albuquerque, NM 87107, is one of the fastest growing coffee brands in Albuquerque.Thanks to their upbringing, and their familial ties, one of the greatest assets they bring to Albuquerque’s coffee scene is authenticity. This is straight-from-the-field, single-sourced, hand-picked, hand-sorted, fair trade Colombian coffee, roasted on the premises in Albuquerque. The knowledge Juan and David readily share with their customers regarding the growing, picking, roasting and brewing of coffee is a coffee-lover’s dream; attend any of their cupping or tasting events at their coffee shop, or grab a bag at Whole Foods or La Montañita Co-op to find out for yourself. With their commitment to local communities, they support local businesses, hire local employees while working with other likeminded organizations here and in Colombia. This reflects their personal philosophies and their business mission. Villa Myriam is as driven by its community mindedness as it is by its understanding that a successful life is as (if not more) important than a successful business. Optimally you get both. So David is a master roaster, trained by a Q-Grader in Costa Rica, and is also the doting father of two. He loves riding horses, and with ten years of professional experience in computer technology, he enjoys managing all of Villa Myriam’s technical concerns. Juan combines his degree in industrial design with his culinary art studies at CNM. He has a professional history which includes working for the New Mexico Public Education Department, where he managed Federal and State funds for New Mexico’s school districts. Juan manages Villa Myriam’s business operations and business outreach efforts and finds it rewarding at both a professional and personal level. Add his love of art, music, and theater to the drama of pitching a superior coffee and you’ll find someone who wouldn’t want to be doing anything else for a living. In addition to their own coffee shop they have retail associations with Whole Foods and La Montañita Coop. You can find Villa Myriam’s dark, medium and light roasts, alongside seasonal roasts, at their website (www.villamyriam.com) as well as some of the city’s best restaurants and businesses. They will have a lounge area at the upcoming Third Annual Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest on March 23 and 24 at EXPO New Mexico. And modest, solid plans are underway for possible expansions. Which they will move on as soon as they’re done sipping one more cup of coffee.
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