Entrepreneurs Marcia and Horacio share a taste of Nicaragua with the Brampton community.
Hailing from Nicaragua, Horacio and his wife Marcia have brought their rich culture and coffee to the city of Brampton. Their business, Segovia Coffee Co. – located in downtown Brampton – imports, supplies, roasts, and serves handcrafted single-origin Nicaraguan coffee.
After immigrating to Canada in 1986, the pair quickly made use of the many opportunities the country had to offer. Horacio became an accountant for an international medical supply company where he gained a wealth of knowledge in international logistics. Marcia became the HR director for one of the largest employment agencies in Canada. Over the years, this dynamic duo accumulated a wide array of skills that would come in handy when running a successful business. The only missing piece was a stellar product.
They didn’t have to look very far because they had the perfect product waiting at home. In Nicaragua, between Matagalpa and the Segovian mountains is a single-product farm where the high elevation and volcanic soil comes together to create exceptional coffee beans. What better way to bring their culture to Canada than through the taste of their homeland; hence Segovia Coffee Co. was born! They started by attending festivals and farmers’ markets to sell their roasted beans. People were so impressed by their handcrafted coffee, that Marcia and Horacio were motivated to open their own café and expand their product line.
When describing the journey to creating their business, Horacio explains, “just because you know how to make bread doesn’t mean you know how to set up a bakery. They’re two different things. There are a ton of skills that you need in order to run a business. Your skills, personality, how you engage with customers, your vision, and so on. You can learn all of this as life goes on.”
They had the skills and exceptional product, next, they needed a location. Marcia and Horacio chose to establish their business in Brampton because of its diversity and sense of community. As members of the Downtown Brampton Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Brampton Board of Trade (BOT), they are able to stay connected with the community. They have also participated in seminars and networking events at the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre (BEC) which Horacio extols as a “great place for people trying to become entrepreneurs to exchange ideas with others.”
Their involvement in the community extends beyond Brampton and reaches all the way to Nicaragua. As part of a desire to uphold the highest standards in all aspects of their business, Horacio explains that they “…pay not just the fair price, but the best price because we are all a family. There is no negotiation on quality so they tell us the price and we pay. That’s it.” Not only do they actively serve their Brampton community, Marcia and Horacio also positively contribute to their community in Nicaragua by paying a premium for coffee beans. In an industry that is notorious for unfair wages, their business practices are an example of small businesses as a driving force for positive change locally and globally.
As with any entrepreneurial journey, they have their ups and downs, COVID-19 being the most notable thus far. “The impact of COVID has been very substantial but now we are working on recovering,” says Horacio. As the Segovia team puts into motion their recovery plan, they are not merely looking to get back to normal, but to improve their operations. They have set their sights on further developing the B2B side of their business. This involves selling Segovia branded roasted coffee to shops, restaurants, bistros, and small supermarkets. As they look to a bright future, Marcia and Horacio’s exceptional dedication to the community and exquisite coffee is sure to bolster their success.