If you looked at where Giraldo Farms is today, you would never know how difficult it was to get here. As the founder, I spend my days cultivating relationships with all types of NYC based stores including high-end, specialty, natural, organic, bodegas and independent supermarkets. Our coffee products line the shelves of both high end stores such as Zabar’s and Grace Marketplace and everyday supermarkets, including ShopRite. We also take great pride in selling our coffee in small farm markets and bodegas across the city’s 5 boroughs.
However, the story of how this began starts all the way back when I was living in Colombia. At the time, our country was in the mindset of immense turmoil, and my husband and I lived under the threat of being kidnapped. This was our primary motivation to move back to New York where I originally came from and where parts of my family were still living.
Luckily, my husband has an extensive coffee background, and I was well versed in sales and marketing. We decided to take the leap, combine our expertise and launch Giraldo Farms, a line of Colombian coffee that would be a tribute to where we came from. While the idea was fresh and exciting, the task of making it a reality was complex and daunting.
For my husband, his major roadblock was learning English. For me, it was creating long-term relationships with stores so they could carry our products. We both tackled these challenges while also raising our 5-year-old son at the same time. I spent the following years literally pounding the pavement and walking up and down the streets of New York pitching our coffee.
I would start each day at 6am and visit as many stores and bodegas as possible. Each time pitching the store owner on our coffee and educating them on Colombia’s position in the world when it came to coffee. I would present research and send samples on a regular basis. After the initial no, I would return months later with a fresh pitch and new samples for them to try. The key thing to remember is that I never stopped believing in what I was trying to accomplish.
This consistent and tireless work ethic is why Giraldo Farms enjoys such a large footprint in the New York Metropolitan market today. We are proud to state that many of those original customers are still with us to this day. I constantly find myself being sought out for advice by those who want to learn how to launch their food based companies both domestically and internationally. While I can share the steps and process, the underlying thing you will always need is passion, discipline, and an unrelenting determination to make it happen for your brand no matter what.
As 2021 begins, we are focused on strengthening those existing relationships and finding new ways to serve our customers. This includes bringing several new coffee related products to the market by the end of the year. While we will always look for ways to improve in the future, I will never forget the hard work and determination it took to get to where we are today.