Don Leo Coffee will change your life. The single source gourmet brand is the only one of its kind. The product is exclusively grown, processed, roasted, ground and packaged by the farmers in El Salvador. The company is based in Los Angeles and has created a bridge between Salvis in diaspora and their homeland. This is part of an endeavor to harken back to the oft ignored history of exploitation of the tiny country, and reclaim it.
American brands will buy [Salvadoran] coffee from our farmers on the cheap, bring it stateside and roast it themselves. Essentially, taking away the revenue for that labor from our farmers. Then they turn around, and sell it right back to us.Cristian Quintanilla, Founder and CEO of Don Leo Coffee
Cristian Quintanilla, Founder and CEO of Don Leo coffee, wants to bring an awareness to the pulgarcito as a source for premium cafe. While coffee is not largely grown inside the United States (in recent years there has been a push by farmers in states with the climate to do so), generally, people refer to coffee sold here as locally roasted since they typically cannot label the coffee as locally grown. This “locally roasted” coffee is about as authentic as one can get within the US. Cristian is leading the way with having it 100% processed at the source.
Staying true to his roots, he takes great pride in his immigrant story and has always been a student of history. As a child, it led him to spend time digging through encyclopedias. It was there he discovered that El Salvador, was once one of the world’s leading producers of coffee.
A graduate of Pepperdine University’s MBA program, but disillusioned with the lack of Salvi self-determined presence in the market, he decided to leave his prestigious Fortune 500 job for his true calling. Bringing a delicious cup of home to coffee lovers everywhere.
It has been a little over a year since Cristian launched the company, affectionately named after his grandfather Don Leo. The road for any small business is full of challenges, but Cristian is undeterred. He is involved in every level of the process, from working to develop as many sustainably conscious supply channels of distribution, as well as staying active on social media –check out Don Leo Coffee’s Instagram for the on point memes and bulk order discounts!
All this effort has brought on quality partnerships. Such as the one with the Los Angeles based organization, AFJA ES. This evolution of community building and support is paramount for businesses like Don Leo Coffee, and giving back is a key priority for Cristian.
Paying homage to family and culture, Don Leo Coffee is breaking ground. In a time where many Central Americans are struggling to cope with the dark gloom of the news emanating from our homelands, Cristian has found a way to help us welcome the sunrise. Our future is bright.