An interview with the famous Bedoya
He's back ladies and gents.
I am proud to announce that being in the same time zone as Alejandro Bedoya (my big brother for those of you who don't know) is a blessing in disguise. Now it's a lot easier to call him out when he doesn't respond to our text messages like "bro, I just saw you tweet something, I KNOW you're on your phone." Yes, I play the little sister role very well. TEEHEE!
Ok jokes aside, I very seriously and professionally wrote out a few questions for the famous sibling. To be honest, Ale has been my day one supporter. Ever since I mentioned the idea to my big brother (about 3 years ago) he has always made sure to challenge me in a way that allowed me to plan and prepare for what lies ahead. While Santi, now my right hand man, jumped on board after he had completed his studies in England about 6 months ago. I have two of the greatest brothers and business partners ever, to say the least.
Here we go.
Q & A with the famous Bedoya
Q. First and foremost, who’s the best sister ever?
A. Well the one and only Marcela Bedoya. And nobody comes close! ;)
Q. Throughout the past couple of years I have seen your interest in the “coffee world.” How did your love for coffee first start? Was it my passion or do you think it’s in your veins, too?
A. Well just growing up in a household of Colombians it was natural for me to be around coffee all the time. Whether it was a cafe con leche at breakfast or during the day you could always smell coffee around. I then really started to pick up on my passion for coffee when I got to Sweden after signing my first professional contract. In Sweden's culture, they have a tendency to go out for a "fika" typically sometime in the afternoon which is a way of taking a coffee break amongst friends or colleagues to share some time together whether it's to catch up or share ideas. I started drinking more and more coffee and it wasn't until you started to indulge more into your and our family's love for coffee that friends started to get into the whole specialty premium coffees and to learn more about all the different types of beans and processes that make coffee so intriguing and enjoyable.
Q. Living in Europe you’d mention there are a lot of nice little “mom and pop” cafes all around, would you say you pictured us when you’d visit those? What were your thoughts?
A. That's the beauty of coffee and cafes is that it has a way of bringing people together. Living in Europe provided me with the opportunity to see so many different cultures and meet new people and it was always amazing to share stories and exchange moments over a cup of coffee at unique coffee shops.
Q. While you were abroad you tasted many different coffees, which was your favorite café and why?
A. I would always check out the local coffee scene and there's always one or two that you tend to visit most based on quality of coffee, service, and ambiance. In each country, I had a favorite but I would say it was Sugar Blue cafe in Nantes was probably the one I frequented the most and had great quality coffee along with very friendly service and awesome homemade delicacies. It's the one where I would always take you guys to when you'd come visit. Good memories.
Q. Now you are back in the U.S., are you surprised to see the coffee culture here?
A. I'm not surprised at all because of the melting pot that we are. Coffee is essential in our lives for various reasons including health, staying alert, consumption for fun amongst friends, and just in general for the taste and intimacy that coffee and cafes allow us to have with it. It is nice to see more and more people appreciating the specialty premium coffee business because there really is a difference in taste and once you get more into the coffee scene you really realize how amazing the process of coffee is from farm to the green stage to the roasted stage and finally to the consumption stage. More and more people are being conscious to what they put in their bodies and coffee is another product that once you become more knowledgable about it makes it even more interesting. Just like wine tasting, the world of coffee offers a tremendous amount of different tastes, vibes, and stories to tell that are meant to be shared with others. It's fascinating to see the coffee culture grow in the states from the west coast to the east coast and beyond.
Q. Before my recent visit to Philly, you did some research, how did you distinguish which café’s were ones you wanted to reach out to?
A. Well my research was to locate those cafes who prioritized the specialty premium coffee. Our coffee comes from the finest regions in Colombia and I wanted to make sure that I found out where those cafes are who appreciate a good quality cup of coffee. I was able to find cafes such as ReAnimator, La Colombe ,Menagerie, and Ox Coffee as the ones who most represent our type of coffee and where I can enjoy a nice time. I also looked for common ground and ended up having similar interests put up at me just by looking at their Instagram pages.
Q. We decided to visit a few of those coffee shops when I went up to Philly at the end of August. We had a couple meetings with them, too. How would you say those meetings went?
A. I thought they went great! I really enjoyed meeting with the amazing people behind each of those cafes. The coffee world is very intricate but to be able to share our story with theirs is one of the most amazing things to have a coffee over. They were also very productive as I hope with some of the relationships we have now established can be nurtured into one where we can do business with.
Q. I know there is still a lot I have to teach you (coffee wise, not business we know you know) and a lot for us all to learn, but now that you’re closer to the family business, do you see yourself being more hands on?
A. With my career and being a bit distant from you it is not so easy to be as hands on as I'd like to. But I certainly would like to be involved more in terms of being part of the day to day activity. I will always be looking to expand my network to get people to taste our coffee because I know that once they do they will love it. Our coffee speaks for itself and is of the highest quality so I look forward to that with my traveling I am able to reach out to other roasters or local cafes so that I could share our coffee stories with them. Our coffee business has just started and we have been doing well I hope to continue on this growth path of sharing our coffee with consumers and fans as well as continuing to learn about coffee and it's intriguing world.
Q. What’s been the best thing about being closer to home and the family business?
A. Well the best thing for me about being back in the USA is having family and friends nearby. At times, in Europe, it can get very lonely. But with the birth of Santino I want to make sure that he is surrounded by the best while growing up. In terms of business, it allows me to be a lot closer in order to deal with issues that pop up on a daily basis. I'm involved with quite a few business ventures and I would be lying if I said the time difference didn't affect some of the business dealings I would partake in. Overall, I'm very happy with where I am in my life right now and the combination of having my love for soccer and business surrounded by my family and friend is something that really gives me a peace of mind.
And that's that. Thank you Ale for taking the time to chat with me while I sit here at the pop-up shop and our dreams take flight. Looking forward to seeing you more often and indulging in great coffee together while we discuss our business endeavors. Also, Santino is the absolute man and already my favorite coffee companion. I'm shooting for some of his first few words to be "coffee" and "tia" is that asking too much? Good luck in Philly bro. Welcome home. We love you!!!
Guys, we will have new coffees, new packaging, and new tastes arriving soon! We can't wait to share them with you. Keep up for more info on when you can get your lips on some deliciousness specially delivered from us.
ONE more thing, if you want specialty coffee at any of your business meetings, special events, or just because it'd be awesome, we can make that happen. Let us know so we can plan for a good time over great coffee with you. Call me, maybe?