Cafe Richesse has been growing and roasting coffee since 1993. Their signature coffee, Conquista, is grown right on their family farm in the southern highland state of Bahia, Brazil. The Neves family has always valued sustainable coffee production, using low-impact farming practices while preserving forests to protect wildlife and the microclimate of their land.
Interview with Luiz Neves, Owner of Cafe Richesse:
What advice would you give to community members who are looking for ways to support local businesses like yourselves?
Avoid chains and look into who actually owns the establishment you patronize. Check out their website and social media accounts. If you get a chance to, meet the owners.
What’s one thing that would surprise people about your business?
I would like people to know that we actually own the land on which our coffee is grown. Back when the family still lived in Brazil, my dad and my uncle bought a coffee farm and about 85% of the coffee we sell comes from there. That makes us one of the very few ground-to-grind coffee company in the United States.
How does owning a local business keep you connected to the community?
Owning a business keeps you connected to the community in the same way playing soccer keeps you connected to a ball! There is no business without community engagement just like you can’t play soccer without a ball. Business is by definition community engagement. Its’ very lifeblood. Business is fundamentally about people. Without people there is no business.
What do you think makes our Fort Collins business community so special?
I can’t even begin to give you a full answer to that, but first off, people here have had a sense of community belonging that I’ve not seen quite as strong elsewhere. The fact that we have wonderful places to walk, play and hang out outdoors at is also big.
How has the pandemic and the challenges of the last year changed the way you do business?
It has changed a lot! We’ve lost some customers on the wholesale level as we have seen businesses close and get sold. We also saw a slump with the temporary closure and social distancing measures in restaurants. At the same time, we’ve also seen a huge increase in retail sales with people staying home to drink their coffee. This has definitely been a watershed in the life of Café Richesse.
What has the past year taught you about our Fort Collins community?
That we are not quitters. So many businesses have been affected negatively, but Fort Collins is resilient. We may go down, but we’re never out!
Do you have any special events, promotions, or products upcoming that you would like to share with the community?
Yes. We are at the Larimer County Farmers Market every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. May through October. We are also coming up with ideas about an open-house event in the spring. More on that later 😊
Where can people find your coffee?
Mountain Avenue Market (Fort Collins Food Co-op), The Cart inside of the Sprouts Market, Silver Grill Café, Genoa Coffee and Wine on Taft and Drake near the King Soopers, Beavers’ Market, Fiona’s Delicatessen, and of course online at caferichesse.com.