Tava darīšana

Tava darīšana. Funkcionālais ūdens un Siguldas papīrlietas

Tava darīšana. Kafijas ražotāji un dronu šovs

Coffee company that started in a garage is a sustainable success

The founders of the Latvian company "Kalve Coffee", Gatis Zēmanis and Raimonds Selga have proven that even in a saturated market, you can create a successful business. They roast, grind and package coffee, sell it direct to offices and also serve it in their own cafes.

Founded in 2017, the company has been actively operating since 2019. It has its own coffee roastery in Jaunmārupe, four cafes in Latvia and, since last year, also a cafe in Dusseldorf, Germany. Coffee produced in Latvia is also exported to Estonia.

"The first attempts were in the kitchen, then in the garage, and it was a bit embarrassing to receive customers there. But a friend reassured me, saying: 'Don't worry, it's better to start in the garage than to end in the garage. It was encouraging," Gatis recalls.

The founders attracted partners in the early stages of the company's development for management of financial issues and design development.

Although the coffee roasted in Jaunmārupe is not available in large retail chains, the company competes with the imported products of large producers. In addition to roasting coffee and operating cafes, Kalve offers coffee beans or ground coffee for home use. About half of the coffee produced by the company is bought by business customers (restaurants, offices), the other half is sold in retail.

The roastery can handle around 60 tonnes of coffee per month. In order not to waste resources on packaging, the company delivers coffee to large customers and its cafes in special buckets, but for everyday consumption it offers to use metal cans that can be reused.

"When we founded the company, we had a long-term view of its development. It was never our goal to earn all the money in the world, it is more important for us to create something lasting, based on good values," says Raimonds.

In recent years, "sustainability" has been a business word. Much is said about it, rather less is sometimes done but Gatis and Raimonds have been working according to this concept since the beginning – starting from coffee purchases and ending with its packaging.

"We want to change the coffee industry so that it becomes better, more responsible. For example, regarding coffee packaging, we use fully recyclable packaging material in retail, as well as metal cans in which coffee can be filled up again and again," says Gatis. They have received a particularly high rating - the "B Corporation" certificate - which can be called the gold standard in the field of sustainability.

Coffee seems to us something familiar and constant. However, this industry is also undergoing a process of change and innovation, and one of the most difficult tasks is to achieve a consistently high level of quality. Raimonds emphasizes how important it is to maintain the same quality and taste of coffee.

With such a huge range of coffee types on the market, it is difficult to surprise people with something new, but it is easy to lose support when the usual coffee taste is suddenly no longer the same as before.

Is it easy to start a business in Latvia? "For those who say that everything is bad, I can advise you to go and open a company, for example, in Germany. Of course, we would like to reduce the tax burden, for example taxes on labor, but in general it is not so crazy," says Gatis.

The story of Kalve coffee repeats the truth repeatedly heard from entrepreneurs – do what interests you, do it passionately, from the heart, look for like-minded people and be fearless – and chances are you will succeed.

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