Toffee, Orange, & Florals
Region | Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Altitude | 1100m
Farm | El Recreo
Grower | Jorge Luis Balaguera Tornet
Variety | Castillo
Process | Washed
Direct Trade by Mama Chena
Mama Chena's Story
It all started when…
In 1917 my great-grandparents Papa Fin and Mama Lina travelled north to the Caribbean coast region of Colombia to Santa Marta with the intention of emigrating to Cuba to work in the sugar cane plantations. Whether it was fate, luck, or both, they missed the steamboat and had to then find temporary work in Santa Marta and wait for the next sailing.
Destiny took them to work in the coffee farms, located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Working there Papa Fin had the opportunity to explore the landscape and discovered a dream that, within a few decades, would become a reality.
Papa Fin and Mama Lina had 9 children who helped them with the plot of land he was given. Among those children was Mama Chena. The family grew the land into a farm, and were able to become independent. In 1947, they acquired several more hectares in the region. Some of these lands are still in possession of Papa Fin's grandchildren. These farms are where Mama Chena's coffee comes from.
In 2007 at the age of 17, I traveled north to Canada on my own. Almost a year later I was joined by my family and we have been plowing away in London, Ontario planting roots in this place we now call home.
I grew up hearing stories about my great-grandfather Papa Fin and his farm. Since arriving, we have wondered how we could bridge the stories of our past and our present via coffee from our family farms. A coffee with a story to tell; a coffee that has seen just about everything.
In 2017, named after my grandmother Argenida, Mama Chena Coffee Co. was born. 100 years after my great-grandparents migrated to Santa Marta. Whether it was fate, luck, or both, we have to yet find out.
1917, 1947, 2007, 2017… Let's see what the next 100 years bring.