Earlier this year, Pachamama announced the expansion project for a new roasting and fulfillment space. After many months of hard work from our team we have fully transitioned into the brand new facility with all new roasting equipment in the new home of El Dorado Hills, CA. With this expansion, coffee farmers can roast six times more coffee annually to better serve At-home Subscriber, wholesale accounts and Pachamama’s four cafés in the Sacramento-Davis area.
This investment is an important step for any coffee company. But the weight and significance this holds for us, as a cooperative that’s owned by thousands of coffee farmers around the world, is about much more than just growth. It proves the ability to have a successful company run by those who most often are left at the bottom of the supply chain, they have the power and the access to make an investment that so many cannot. It delivers equity, pride and dignity to their work.
“Pachamama Coffee’s model is unique. First of all because the farmers are the owners of Pachamama Coffee. This not only generates wealth for our families and communities, but also provides dignity. We are the owners in the entire coffee chain, it is our product from our hands to the consumer” - Merling Preza, President of Pachamama.
Coffee Roasted by Farmers in California
In a world where the average coffee farmer receives less than 10% of the retail value of their coffee, the owners of Pachamama are taking control of their own future by roasting their best coffee in the US and selling it directly to consumers.
Through ownership, our farmers set the price and are held accountable to the end-consumer for a change. Pachamama’s vertically-integrated value chain is more efficient and provides better outcomes for both farmers and consumers of specialty coffee.
“As a fully integrated coffee company owned by thousands of farmers around the world, our new El Dorado Hills facility is about more than growth. We can’t control climate change or port congestion, but we can tackle inequity. Today we prove that a successful, global company can be run by people most often left at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Pachamama delivers freshly roasted coffee directly from the farmers who grew it - without compromise - and that’s a powerful solution to a broken supply chain." - Pachamama CEO/co-founder Thaleon Tremain
Handcrafted in Small Batches
This new facility houses both the roasting operations, quality control and packing/fulfillment facilities for Pachamama Coffee Cooperative, with the capacity to roast more than 1.2 million pounds of green coffee annually.
We acquired two roasters manufactured by US Roaster Corp, based in Oklahoma City. USRC stands out with over 30 years of experience, and a long standing record of quality and craftsmanship going into each roaster. The roasters will not include any automation components, an unconventional move for most growing roasters.
Pachamama’s COO, Ed Alagozian, believes “automation has no place in small-batch roasting. The training of the artisan operating the roaster is what results in a perfect roast. Roasting in small batches is an art more than it is a science. While scientific principles are utilized to understand the process, the senses of the person behind the roaster play a far more important role in determining the outcome of the roast.” Roasting in smaller batches allows more attention to nuances that affect the coffee taste profile, maintaining the integrity of the craft by giving each small batch the care and attention it deserves.
This commitment resonates with the experience from our owners, small-scale coffee farmers, that focus on quality not quantity. Family farmers rely on their experience and senses in the field to grow the best organic coffee, carefully hand-picked when the cherries are ripe. Roasting in small batches highlights and preserves the artisan effort and unique terroir of our farms in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Ethiopia.
The biggest design feature in the new space is the mural of Machu Picchu, created by the artists of R+A Art & Media. This is not the first piece for Pachamama done by the duo, in 2019 we marked the expansion of the East Sacramento Cafe with the featured art piece “La Ruta Del Cafe.”
Rosa and Antonio sat down with us and explained the inspiration behind this new mural in the El Dorado Hills roasting facility.
“The mural at our new Roastery in El Dorado celebrates Pachamama’s Andean origins, a scene of the monumental and cultural site of Machu Picchu. Pachamama means Mother Earth in the indigenous languages of Quechua and Aymara around a culture of reciprocity and harmony with all living beings. We recreated an image of Machu Picchu to ground us in the practices and the values around Pachamama.”
“As Pachamama roasters practice the art of roasting the coffee, that comes from the valley of Santa Teresa in Peru—and from other parts of the world as monumental and culturally relevant to the people who live there— we hope that it provides continued inspiration for being a part of a journey that is el café.”
In March 2022, we hosted an opening ceremony with staff, long time supporters, community members and Pachamama’s Board of Directors. We celebrated the hard work our team had put into bringing this space to life and the culmination of the success of 20 years of dedication to farmer-ownership and the impact it has had for our community.
Representatives of our farmer-owners attended the annual board meeting in Sacramento in March to see the expansion of their US-based operations and were able to speak at the Grand Opening event, expressing their gratitude to our customers big and small for continuing to choose supporting small-scale coffee farmers directly through Pachamama.
“I’m really proud and this is an honor to be here, just to see the work. The scale that Pachamama has grown is directly going to impact our small-scale producers at origin.” stated Alejandro Gutierrez Zuniga, Agronomist and Certifications Coordinator for La Unión Regional in Huatusco, Mexico
All coffee is global. It travels thousands of miles from origin to our roastery door. And we acknowledge that this impact is significant. The expansion into a larger facility allows more storage which in turn equals less deliveries every year for green coffee. We now have the space to cut these deliveries from origin in half, and then quickly roasting and shipping coffee straight to the customer.
Additionally, when roasting coffee, a lot of smoke is associated with this process. In order to improve our emissions, we use what is known as a thermal oxidizer (also known as an afterburner). As the smoke exits the roaster, it is burned off reducing our carbon emissions. The specific model we chose from Selkirk Manufacturing employs an extremely efficient and low emission burner that cuts natural gas use by 50 percent.
Furniture in the facility is handmade from reclaimed timber from a local, now decommissioned mill, Camino Mill in El Dorado County.