Putting coffee scores and farmer’s faces on their bags is just one way Progeny Coffee sets itself apart from competitors. (Courtesy Progeny Coffee)
By Kate Bradshaw
Progeny Coffee is working to open its first brick-and-mortar cafe and roastery in Palo Alto.
The coffee roaster and brand has partnered with Hope Hangar, a faith-based charity, to provide job training and career development opportunities for those in need, particularly women and mothers experiencing hardship, in tandem with a high-end Colombian coffee-tasting experience, according to Progeny Coffee co-owner John Trabelsi. He says they're hoping to open sometime this summer, but that ultimately the opening date will depend on Palo Alto's permitting process.
Trabelsi and his wife, Maria Palacio, created the coffee business after Trabelsi traveled to meet Palacio's family at the Colombian coffee farm where she grew up.
After tasting his first cup of coffee from Palacio's father's farm, he says, "I didn't realize coffee could taste so good with nothing added."
He was inspired to try to share the experience with as many people as possible, all while supporting Colombian coffee farmers.
"Our goal is basically to take (coffee) farmers out of poverty," he says. "We don't want to be just another coffee roaster."
Maria Palacio and John Trabelsi, owners and founders of Progeny Coffee. (Courtesy Progeny)
So far, Progeny Coffee has developed its coffee program by working with Colombian coffee farmers, providing technical support and offering guidance on how valuable their coffee is. They pay up to 255% of the fair trade price, instead offering farmers a fixed price per score based on the performance of their coffee beans. And when reserve beans sell, Progeny offers an additional bonus to the farmers, he says.
Currently, Progeny Coffee is based in Palo Alto but conducts its roasting in Oakland. They're hoping to expand their roasting capacity with the launch of their cafe at Hope Hangar, he adds.
They're still working on developing their food menu, but are planning to work with smaller Latinx or minority food providers to offer premade menu items. As for the coffee menu, Trabelsi says visitors should prepare for a specialty coffee experience. There will be pour-overs, espressos, pressed coffee and high-end drip coffees. They're also considering offering coffee tastings, he adds.
Mountain View-based Hope Hangar currently offers a food pantry and clothing distribution program and is developing an online platform to help people experiencing mental, emotional or physical crisis find resources.
The food pantry operates the first and third Sundays of each month from 2-4 p.m., and the clothing distribution is offered on the first and third Mondays of each month from 5-7 p.m., while supplies last.
Progeny Coffee, 910 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, Instagram: @progeny_coffee.