Q: Tell us about your business. What is it?
>A: (Las Chicas Del Cafe) is a small family business, owned by 2 sisters who import coffee from own small family farm in Nicaragua and other small family owned farms in same mountain area.
Q: How did you and La Luxe get started?
A: We decided to start roasting to be able to share our coffee and help other growers in the area , coffee for us is a lifestyle, something that brings families together, educate coffee lovers that coffee is so much more than a “to go” cup.
Q: What was one major obstacle you faced in the early stages of developing your company?
A: Raw/green coffee is not recognized as collateral by any banks in Canada, so getting financing is very hard , which puts us at the mercy of tight cash flows. Also Mother Nature/ like any farming weather can affect your crop and growth for business in a big way.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to our readers (current or aspiring small business owners)? Alternatively, was is one thing you would have done differently?
A: (Starting and running a business) is always harder than you think it will be. But you have to make sure this is what you want, at the beginning there is a lot of sacrifice and compromise. Don’t ever compromise your ethics, it is never for sale.
I would have created a yearly plan for personal growth, important to find balance between personal and business life.
Q: According to the government of Canada, for every small business that is founded, roughly 1 small business fails. Any thoughts on why this happens to small businesses?
A: In my opinion, the reason why for every small business that is founded, one small business fails is poor planning. Although optimism is a good mind frame to keep in most situations, you have to think about the what ifs and obstacles that you may face before you face them. I believe that lack of funds is the end result of a failed business, however there is a strong correlation with poor planning; making it the root of the problem.
Q: To what extent are you present online?
A: We have Facebook, twitter, instagram, website, online store. Considering starting a blog.
Q: Are there any ways in which you have had to adapt with the progression and evolution of technology?
A: Yes, as business has grown have needed to get website revamped, also added online store and electronic payment option. Keeping up with social media demands.
Val is one of 2 sisters who own Las Chicas Del Cafe, a fantastic coffee shop where “coffee is a true testament to craftsmanship, as it is handled and processed by hand, from the time the coffee cherries are picked to the time the beans are packaged for our consumers.”
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