We had the good fortune of connecting with Alison & Wade Anderson & Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alison & Wade, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Our benchmark for success is really how much we are learning and growing in our business. We had clear intentions from the start. We knew we wanted to focus exclusively on women coffee farmers and bring attention to the amazing work they are doing in coffee country. Since day one, we have donated $1 of every bag sold to our nonprofit partners Springboard to Opportunities bringing additional financial support to women living in affordable housing here in the US. The reward has come from forging the relationships and doing the work we set out to do abroad and at home. We derive a great sense of accomplishment as we learn more about women co-ops, specifically getting to know the actual women coffee growers. Likewise, we learn so much from our partners at Springboard when we can participate in discussions with the recipients of their programs and share those stories. Ultimately success is cultivated by the community of women in which we are able to create and grow, and that’s been our guiding light from the start.
What should our readers know about your business?
We were surprised when we started researching women in coffee that there were not already other brands highlighting the efforts women in the industry. On trips to coffee country with my husband who has been roasting for 25 years, we were impressed by the work of women largely in regions of the world and in an industry that tends to be male dominated. We felt like we had identified a hole in the market that needed to be filled. We were lucky that we had the infrastructure with Roastery of Cave Creek to work with established importers and a first class production team to bring our women-focussed coffee brand to life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
After picking friend up at the airport, we would go straight to La Grande Orange for a bite of lunch and coffee before heading up to Cave Creek where we live. We usually try to plan a hike in the Cave Creek Rec Area, Black Mountain or Tom’s Thumb. We are so lucky to have so much natural beauty right in our own backyards. We love to share our town with out of towners. Cave Creek is quirky and has it’s own unique flavor. Some our favorite spots are: Big Earls for their burritos, Janey’s for live local music and Keelers for roof top drinks and dining. Confluence has an amazing menu and it’s worth the drive out to Raven’s View for the scenery, delicious dishes and drinks. Of course, it’s also fun to bring folks by the Roastery of Cave Creek for a coffee tour and a visit to the Honor Box where they can grab their favorite whole bean coffee from ROC2 or Exploradora. Other favorite Phoenix/Scottsdale restaurants are: fnb, Tarbells, Biancos, Tratto and Rokerij.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To all of our women coffee farmers working hard each day to bring us their beautiful coffees. To Aisha Nyandoro and the women of Springboard to Opportunities supporting women-focussed resident driven community initiatives.. To all of the other women who have motivated us to DO SOMETHING IMPACTFUL – best friend/godmother Crista Bailey, mom/grandmom Patsy Gray, Equator owner/coffee pioneer Helen Russell and the countless other women who have inspired us along the way!
Linkedin: Exploradora Coffee
All photos by Jessica Seiferth