Happy Birthday, Kao Jai.
Whether it was fate or pure luck, Kao Jai's birthday happened to land on Small Business Saturday, which celebrates the impact that small business owners have in communities throughout the country. Exactly 1 year ago, at approximately 7am, we met our now partner Doon at her coffee shop in downtown Chiang Rai, hopped in the back of a pickup truck & made the 2 hour journey into the mountaneous jungles of Northern Thailand.
When we finalized our partnership with Doon and 6 families, we honestly did not know what was in store for us, our business & our partners in Thailand. What we did know was that we had passion for the product itself, the natural process & the people behind the cup. These passions, which have grown over time, have been the "why" behind what we do. We know that all of work is creating value and impacting coffee producers & coffee drinkers around the globe.
Seeing What Sticks
At the start of everything, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed overcome with excitement about endless opportunities of creating a social venture. Like many other starting entrepreneurs, we envisioned the businesses immediate future filled with publicity and recognition of the unique story that Thai coffee has to offer. Needless to say, the road thus far has been similar to the roads throughout the farming region in Thailand - full of bumps, ups and downs & the occasional mud pit.
We've been forced to pivot and adapt our strategy over time, which has resulted in a more developed and synergistic approach to building a name for Thai coffee and consistent demand for the farmers. We're a very long way from the finish line, but we've been blessed with building a business around a purpose that continuously ignites our passions and curiosity of creating value and change through entrepreneurship.
Since November 29, 2013, we've definitely had many struggles, but we are grateful for the wins in our business no matter how large or small. Looking back on the year, we can gratefully share that we've been a part of:
- Purchasing approximately 7,000 pounds of Thai coffee directly from farmers at a "Farmer Satisfied Price"
- Packaging & distributing Thai coffee to customers and retailers in 33 states throughout the US
- Connecting and fostering relationships between US coffee roasters and Thai farmers
- Designing packaging that highlights the unique and amazing region where our coffee is harvested
- Most importantly: forming relationships with our partners in Thailand.
To Infinity & Beyond
As we look back and process the past year, we're grateful for both the ups and downs for equipping us with the tools necessary to create change and promote sustainability in communities around the globe. We thank our supporters for their love of our Taste of Change, and we look forward to serving you over the next 365 days and beyond.
Meg & Kyle
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