Question: How did the coffee producers start their business?
Answer: From the ground up!
Francine & Immaculate returned to their home village of Nyamagabe a few years ago, with a plan. And you need a plan to spell plant. In fact, that's what they did: planted fields of Red Bourbon at their South Province farm. Then they waited for a spell.
Those shrubs finally matured, so Francine & Immaculate turned their attention to the next steps up: harvesting and processing. They quickly determined that the best way to maintain their Red Bourbon's value would be to prepare, ferment, and dry it themselves.
So they moved from planting, to harvesting, to processing.
Now Francine & Immaculate find themselves the proud owners of the Nyamulinda washing station, producer of 220 tons of coffee cherry per year--a pretty small number in terms of East African coffee. There's still room for this operation to grow. For starters, they'd like to expand the mill's capacity, and accept cherry from their neighbors.
Having started at the ground level, this ambitious couple won't surprise us if they keep expanding their reach to the sky, eventually opening the first seed-to-cup, ground-to-space cafe on Mars. In the meantime, it's a pleasure to taste the bright fruits of this young farm / mill / washing station / beautiful growing thing.