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At La Bohème Café, we have strict criteria for selecting partners. And the La Bolsa farm is the best example of this. Our paths crossed in 2014, when Charles first met the current owner, Renardo Ovalle Vides. Family tradition, exceptional quality, respect for nature and a strong community were exactly the aspects why we started the collaboration. What makes this farm unique? And what did our QC Jake have to go through to get a look?

The story of the farm

Currently, the farm is under the management of Renardo Ovalle Vides, also nicknamed Nayo. It was his grandfather, a talented doctor and entrepreneur, who founded the La Bolsa farm in the Huehuetenango region in 1958 and began growing Bourbon and Caturra coffees on the then wooded land.

And so, while fulfilling his mission as a doctor, visiting his patients throughout the region and even becoming director of the National Hospital in Huehuetenango, growing coffee became his true passion. His humanitarian imagination went beyond coffee production, and in 1980 he founded a school on the farm, which still operates today. Four years later, he was named "Notable Coffee Grower" by the national coffee association ANACAFÉ.

"We are a company with a deep sense of tradition and a talent for innovation, precision and quality."

The farm is located in the Huehuetenango region (pronounced hey-hey-tenango), which is located in the western part of the Guatemalan highlands on the border with Mexico. Thanks to the altitude and diverse microclimate of this mountainous region, coffee originating from here is known worldwide for its bright and fresh acidity.

The philosophy of Renard and his community is very close to us and meets our strict criteria for cooperation. Therefore, we can guarantee that we offer not only really good coffee, but also the certainty that it comes from a fair environment.

Which criteria are most important to us at La Bohème?

"Traveling to coffee farms sounds quite romantic, but only until you go to one."

Our quality controller Jacob, who had the opportunity to visit the farm, can totally agree with this. The Huehuetenango area is generally difficult to access, especially during the rainy season, which presents a high risk of landslides. And so there was nothing left but to use air transport. The flight was scheduled for 6 in the morning, and Jacob set out on foot for the airport at 5:30, despite warnings from local gangs. When he saw the unkempt hangar, he suddenly wasn't quite so sure of his decision. Then came another minor shock when he was asked to weigh in on the spot. A brief explanation: our Jacob is not one of the small ones, so he did not even meet the dimensions of the average Guatemalan. So he had to pay for the trip for two.

When they arrived at the farm, he couldn't believe his eyes. He felt like he was on a completely different planet or in one of the scenes from the movie Avatar.

To see the producers getting awards for their coffee, how much it means to them and to share that joy with them.

Unfortunately, he only visited the farm after the harvest, so he didn't have the opportunity to meet the pickers. On the other hand, the La Bohème Café team had the opportunity to taste the freshest harvest at the Vides family headquarters in Guatemala City!

The greatest experience of the entire trip for him was visiting the farm and participating in the international jury of the One of a Kind competition. To see the producers getting awards for their coffee, how much it means to them and to share that joy with them.

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