Over two and a half years ago, the vision for Brewpoint was born after Melissa Villanueva quit her corporate-America job and visited the Philippines. After two months, Melissa realized there was a need for community spaces centered around coffee, and she returned home with an interesting idea for a different kind of coffee shop in her head. Thus, Brewpoint began to take shape.
This Sunday, Melissa is returning to the Philippines for a second visit. However, this journey is less about finding direction in life and more about finding direction in business.
Reflecting on her last trip, Melissa explained how she first got in contact with Kalsada, the Philippine coffee company so many of our customers have come to love.
“Right before I left the Philippines, I got connected with this other Philippine-American woman who was starting a coffee sourcing company in the Philippines. Over the past two and a half years, she has built up her company, and I have built up [Brewpoint]. About a year and a half ago, they started sending us coffee. At first, it was just alright. Then they started getting really good.”
That quality is a stride for Philippine coffee, which is not as widely recognized as coffees from places like Guatemala. Melissa explained, “Philippine coffee is rare in the States…but Kalsada saw an opportunity to build a fantastic infrastructure for the Philippine farmers, and it’s making a huge difference in taste, quality, and impact.”
Now, with Brewpoint exploring a relationship with Kalsada, both companies have another opportunity to grow.
“We formed a relationship with them about a year ago,” Melissa said. “and we have come to the point that now that we’re about to start roasting, there’s a possibility of us becoming their next distributor.”
Melissa’s coming trip has a pleasing circular symmetry for Brewpoint’s progressing narrative as well as Melissa herself. An idea that was sparked in the Philippines is arcing back to these islands to form meaningful contacts in the Philippine coffee world.
Melissa highlighted the importance of this trip: “I’m Filipino, and the Philippines made a huge impact on how this business started, so going back there is very exciting. It’s meaningful to make an impact on that economy.”
Not only is this trip symbolically significant, but it is also the perfect opportunity to get to know Kalsada and what makes them different as a company. At Brewpoint, we are looking to partner with ethically, directly-sourced coffees.
“We want to be able to go to the farmers and know the impact that the coffee is making. We want to be a thoughtful, socially-conscious company.”
But Brewpoint’s ethically-sourced options do not end with the Philippines. Melissa also mentioned possibilities of partnerships with Guatemala, Colombia, and perhaps even Peru. There are several parties interesting in partnering with Brewpoint, especially in this point of expansion.