Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Coronavirus: Stories of How Entrepreneurs in Cherokee County, Georgia are Adapting, Part 5

March 19, 2020

Story 5: Leticia and Harry Hutchins, Alma Coffee, Woodstock and Holly Springs, GA

Alma Coffee is a shade-grown farm-to-cup coffee company specializing in farm-grown coffee from a family farm in Copan, Honduras. — The reason they can guarantee an amazing cup of coffee is that they have nurtured the seedlings through every stage of their life up until they are served to you. Their origin stems from coffee farming! For 5 generations, the Lopez family has been involved in coffee farming in Copan, Honduras.

Farming is no easy task, almost everything is unpredictable and a plentiful harvest is never guaranteed. BUT it’s the foundation of everything! They put their entire hearts and souls into their farming because it’s the start of everything. — Alma Coffee is 5th-generation coffee farmers and 1st-generation roasters now offering wholesale, roastery, and retail offerings. From Honduras to Holly Springs and Woodstock, Alma Coffee has brought their delicious beans to the U.S. to serve Cherokee County and beyond the taste of amazing coffee.

  1. How has the COVID-19 situation impacted your business recently?

[Leticia] To be honest, in every possible way. Here in the USA, our coffee shop has closed until further notice and our wholesale customers have significantly decreased their orders. In Honduras, the impact is detrimental. With all the chaos we had to put our family coffee farms on lockdown mode, only authorized personnel are allowed and we stocked up on animal feed for 6 months.

  1. How have you and your business adapted to the situation?

[Leticia] We are adapting the best way we can. It’s a lot of sleepless nights but we have an incredible team that is flexible and adapting with us as we try to figure this all out. We’re pushing our boundaries on creativity in every single hat that we wear.

We’re pushing our boundaries on creativity in every single hat that we wear.

  1. How have you prepared and led your team/employees?

[Leticia] For us communication and transparency are key. We have let our team know that the next few months will be uncharted territory, but we will be navigating it together. With so much uncertainty, we are confident that we are stronger together!

For us communication and transparency are key. We have let our team know that the next few months will be uncharted territory, but we will be navigating it together.

  1. What new things/perspectives (or old ones reinforced) have you learned about yourself, your business, and/or your community?

[Leticia] As a new business, every day is a learning experience. This is definitely something that we could have never predicted but in the end, we will learn a lot from this experience. About myself and the business, I’ll have to let you know once this is all over 🙂 but about our community…wow, they have simply left me speechless. Their desire to give, help, and encourage are just overwhelming and reaffirming that we made the right choice to start Alma in Cherokee County!

  1. How have you stayed focused and positive?

[Leticia] This can be really REALLY hard! I am so blessed to work with my husband and an amazing team. We all lift each other up when we are down and encourage each other to stay positive.

  1. What are some encouraging thoughts or stories you have heard that have kept you grounded?

[Leticia] Feeling a sense of community online keeps us encouraged. Not just the support for Alma but for all the other awesome local and small businesses in our area. I can’t say it enough, but our community truly is one of a kind and the absolute best!

To learn more about Leticia and Harry Hutchins, the Alma Coffee team or the story of Alma Coffee — including ordering bags of freshly roasted coffee, swag (both now with FREE shipping), or future delivery of snacks and brewed coffee — visit https://myalmacoffee.com/ or follow them at @myalmacoffee on social media.

Stay tuned tomorrow, Sunday, March 22, 2020, for our sixth story and entrepreneur (What, you didn’t think the weekend meant we were stopping did you?). We hope you are inspired by these stories and motivated to stay in the game to support them together.

Have ideas, questions or stories? Reach out to us at cherokeega.org or emailing us directly at info@cherokeega.org.