How did this come to be?
Sergio Boppel, a Guatemalan native and founder of Great Circle Coffee, shares his family has been growing coffee since 1890. He grew up around coffee but more on the production side.
“It was always something I was very close to and passionate about,” he shares.
Sergio always wanted to be an entrepreneur. He has worked as a Chemical Engineer, holds an MBA and most recently held executive positions in the Financial Markets in Boston.
Sergio’s wife, Carolina, is his Co-Founder and from Guatemala with knowledge of the coffee business ecosystem as well.
“In 2015, the Boppels debuted Great Circle Coffee, a company with the vision to make a positive impact in every step of the supply chain,” shares StarChefs Magazine. “They loved Miami, where they had family, and knew the city had a particular appreciation for coffee, though there wasn’t a large variety in the specialty category.”
Sergio states “Miami has the most opportunity for entrepreneurs.”
SHOP GREAT CIRCLE COFFEE here.
Coffee is a family business.
Coffee in Guatemala is the most important crop and has economically sustained the country. It is known as some of the best in the world and award winning, “it’s in our DNA and pride,” says Sergio. He knew his legacy, experience, education and burning desire to share stories of positivity was an opportunity to start a successful entrepreneurial venture and an opportunity to make a positive impact.
Note: Sergio really cares about coffee and really cares about humanity, both passions come through during our conversation.
The Message Behind the Name:
The Great Circle name is from the name of the circle surrounding the equator between the tropics, commonly known as the coffee belt. A great circle is the longest line you can draw around a sphere. More importantly, they see an opportunity to create a virtuous circle (or great circle) by positively influencing every step of the supply chain so coffee can realize its full value.
Proactive Measures to Support Local Producers:
Sergio shares that the coffee industry itself is stuck in a vicious circle “producers spend all of their resources producing a product that at the end of the year ends up losing them money because of swings in the commodity market.” He shares this example “A small producer can spend the whole year growing product, and there is one harvest a year, if one of the major coffee producing countries has a big year, prices will go down causing the small producers to lose money and remain in poverty.”
What did your family think?
Sergio’s family told him roasting was too complicated. Countries of origin historically do not roast and sell it. Hmm.
Perseverance | Education | Experience | Passion | Traditional Methods
“It’s an innovative platform, delivering fresh bread every day is a unique differentiator,” he notes. “I value being with people who share similar goals.”
Where are the beans from?
Beans are from all over the world. Guatemala, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia, among others and they are chosen based on quality and the relationship.
The roasting process is Artisanal but at the same time scientific, Sergio thanks his engineering background for helping support this mission. 😊
Great Circle Coffee has a commitment to sustainability, and coffees are roasted on roasting machines that use innovative technology, consume significantly less energy and produce less CO2 emissions than traditional machines.
Having a positive impact is wickedly important.
Great Circle Coffee supports Café Feminino which is a foundation that supports women coffee growers by empowering them to own their own business and land and get better prices. The organization is based in Washington State and in 8 + countries. Support here.
How do people feel when they have your coffee?
“We want people to discover how delicious high quality coffee can be, and for them to understand the connection between quality and supporting initiatives to impact the supply chain,” Sergio reinforces his commitment to positivity here. “There must be some impactful meaning, in addition to quality. We want people to enjoy the stories of hard work and love produced by small batch farmers in every cup.”
What are your future plans?
“We will continue to scale the wholesale business with likeminded clients that believe in the things that we believe in,” he shares. “Eventually, we may have a storefront and have the people come to us.”
Thank you, Sergio, for persevering beyond the expectations of history. We appreciate you, your positive impact goals, and the beautiful coffee on our market found here.