Santa Barbara, Honduras, 2008. We haven't yet met but Alex and his father, Salvador Bardales, are laying plans to open a store to sell retail veterinary products, animal feed, and local coffee. Having just started a job as a local feed salesman I (Darwin) realized these were people I wanted to meet. Without a second thought, I jumped into my truck and began the five-hour drive across rural Honduras to Santa Barbara to meet Alex and Salvador at their home Finca Santa Helena.
Finca Santa Helena, the farming estate run by Alex and Salvador, was extraordinary. Alex, Salvador and I clicked right away. Alex was a true-to-life cowboy, boots, hat and jeans with a passion for crops and animals. Salvador, his father, had spent more than forty years in the coffee trade buying from the local farmers and driving into the city for resale. Within hours we were drawing up plans to bring Finca Santa Helena its own coffee harvest. In the upcoming months, I would go on to spend any days off or extra free time with Alex and his family in Santa Barbara, preparing Finca Santa Helena. We all shared an interest in agriculture and sustainability. In the future, this would enable us to support working farmers all over Honduras in the operation of their farms.
Years have since passed and our link with Finca Santa Helena remains strong. It has only been two years since we have begun importing coffee to the states. Since then I have become partners with Alex and assist with management of the farm, developing new fertilization programs, streamlining the processing and updating all the equipment so we can not only increase our sustainability but share the process with the neighbors to increase theirs as well.
This year we have harvested a total of 30 bags at 150lbs a piece of delicious coffee directly from our own Finca Santa Helena. As we learn more and continue to invest in ourselves we only expect higher quality. Currently, our Santa Helena Honduran has a few varieties, Obata, Icatu, Caturra and Bourbon. We choose a light/medium roast to bring out the hints of sweet citrus, white chocolate, blueberries and the floral aroma.
Fresh roasted coffee from Santa Helena is Available Here