Sagebrush is a small roastery with a lot of help. As we continue to grow, we have had to increase our help and look beyond the family circle. The next closest thing to family is friends, and lucky for us, we have had a handful of friends join the Sagebrush team recently. Our newest friend to join is my long-time friend, Karla!
We have been friends with Karla and her family for 15 years now and became close initially after serving together at our church's nursery. Karla lives with her husband, three beautiful children, and pet dog. She previously worked from home with Wells Fargo and before that was a barista at Starbucks. The timing worked out perfectly for her to join Sagebrush, as I was searching for more employees, and she was looking for part-time work while her kids were in school. It was the perfect fit! Native to Guatemala, Karla has first-hand experience and knowledge about the regions where coffee is grown. She explains some of her Guatemalan history below. We are so excited to have Karla on our team and know that Sagebrush will significantly benefit from her prior experiences and passion for coffee!
Get to Know Karla
Coffee is something I get really excited about. For me, it's not just a drink but an experience. A lot of my heritage is wrapped up in coffee. Some of my earliest childhood memories include drinking coffee, not just watching my parents but drinking it myself. I am so excited to join a team of people who love what I love and want to provide customers with the best coffee experience possible.
My Huehuetenango Heritage
When you see the name Huehuetenango, most people probably can't say it let alone know where it is on a map. It's a place whose name is very familiar to me. My dad was born and grew up there. Huehuetenango is a small rural city located on the central-west side of Guatemala on the southern slopes of the Cuchumatanes mountains. Its elevation is 6,200 feet above sea level, making it the highest city in the country. Its climate is subtropical, which means it has cool winters and warm summers. If you've traveled in Guatemala, you know that mountain regions can be pretty cool compared to the coastal areas, which are hot year-round.
The name Huehuetenango means "place of the ancients." Some of the Mam people who descended from the ancient Maya still live in Huehuetenango. They are the most ancient people group in Guatemala as well as one of the largest. Some of the Mam people still practice their native traditions. Farmers grow wheat, corn, beans, potatoes, and coffee. Coffee has become a prominent export, which has boosted the local economy.
My Tradition of Drinking Coffee
Ask anyone that has grown up in Guatemala, and they will tell you that drinking coffee is a part of daily life. During most late afternoons, snack time is known as "refaccion" is common. It's common to have a cup of coffee with sweet bread. Even though I didn't grow up in Guatemala, "refaccion" was a typical family practice here in the U.S. So, when I walked into a local chain coffee shop and saw a whole bean bag of coffee from the region of Huehuetenango, it brought back a lot of memories and nostalgia. I was happy to see something from Huehuetenango reach the general American public. The coffee I drink now is home roasted. The last time I found myself in need of coffee to roast, I went to the Sagebrush Unroasted website and found that they also carried coffee from Huehuetenango, so of course, I had to buy it. Now that I am a part of the Sagebrush team, I am very proud to be part of a company that brings something close to my heritage to customers.