After investing wisely in real estate, spending time in Florida and getting ready to head to a lush jungle location, you would think that a couple who could potentially retire may not be interested in waking up before dawn and getting their hands and knees dirty for most of the day. Some people’s idea of retirement involves a bit more luxury, and possibly a lot more lounging around. Marianella Baez is originally from Costa Rica, and she learned English while attending East High school with me in the class of 1986 right here in Lincoln. This is where I met her, years before I dreamed of a career in real estate at Realty Works. Marianella or “Lela” met her husband Jon Jost while in College at the University of Nebraska, and they both moved to Florida. She continued to work in a very corporate environment after completing an international business degree, and her husband was a strength and conditioning trainer at Flordia State University.
Before this while they were in Lincoln, they had grown to love places like The Mill, a staple of the Haymarket environment, and a purveyor of world class coffee right here in the Star City. They took close note of the desire that people have for their morning or study-time perk, even in a down economy. After a few years of successful real estate investments, they began to explore the possibility of having their own coffee label. They knew after some research that in places like Asia, the demand for high-quality coffee is astronomical, and “Q graders” rank the beans globally just like commodities and futures investors rank elements of the market. The quality of coffee goes from a scale of 0 to 100, and specialty coffee begins around the number 84. If you can produce a product in this quality sphere, you can retain financial gain, and secure demand for your labor of love.
Purchasing the farm in Costa Rica and getting everything ready was full of roadblocks, and many emotions. To produce high-grade coffee, the higher altitude of the farm is much better, and producing the beans with no flat land, no tractors, and no other equipment, all tasks are done painstakingly by hand, including picking every single coffee bean. As the struggles and hardships began, the couple realized that their dream was not going to be a snap of the fingers in the least, and they were going to encounter some hardships. As they remembered their beloved spots such as Cultiva Cafe back in the heartland, they buckled down, and their love for each other was as strong as their undying work ethic.
The finished product of “Cafe Con Amor” is slated to arrive in Nebraska around July, where the hot months allow many Lincolnites the option of having their wake-up shot of caffeine outside in the nights laden with crickets and stars. The two always appreciated the comradery and warm hearts that Nebraskans have for each other, and have never experienced it anywhere else in the nation. Impressed by the religious rooting of the beloved Cornhuskers and the kindness of strangers, they put their heads together and vowed to make Lincoln their first market.
This brand of coffee’s name means “Coffee With Love”, and that is exactly what you receive as these two professionals take full control of the “Chain of Custody” within their product. These days, just as processed foods and GMOS have addled the food marketplace, so has honesty. In the coffee realm, you never quite know exactly what they are getting, so Marianella and Jon Jost have made sure that they control every step from seed to cup of their product every step of the way. With outsourcing, corporate folks wanting as much profit as possible, and even worse things that can happen, keeping this “Chain of Custody” so pure, is the mark of true traceability craft and concern for health.
When midsummer rolls around, you can look for Cafe con Amor at Cultiva, the Mill, Canyon Coffee, Bean Smith and other Roasters and coffee shops around Lincoln and Omaha. Harvesting coffee takes around three months, and the process before shipping takes about another two; when the coffee goes through a wet and a dry mill. So currently, this dynamic duo are in the harvest period, and toiling through the days to get it just right. We have a feeling that when their celestial concoction reaches the heartland, people are going to get excited, and busy up every barista’s afternoon with high demand.