Monday, May 29, 2023

The woman from Tolima who conquers the United States with her specialty coffee brand

Yipao Coffee is a specialty coffee brand that conquered the city of San Diego in Southern California, United States. Behind the company is an Ibaguerena who has a passion for coffee. he is Marie Antoinette Bahamon,

In the case of six years, Yipao Coffee was consolidated with the sale of specialty coffees in various presentations and two physical stores. San Diego. Apart from this, it also has a toaster in which they pack their own and other companies’ products.

María Antonieta is dedicated to importing Colombian coffee, especially that which is produced in the Tolima department, then they process it in their roastery, and finally distribute it in packages or buy it for consumption in their stores. sell for. With work, dedication and passion, little by little she fulfills her and her family’s dreams.

he is always by her side jairo martinez, her husband, an electronic engineer, got caught up in his passion for coffee. He is a Bogotano of Tolimanes descent, who lived in Ibagué. He decided to fulfill his wife’s dream and currently runs the company’s roastery. Maria Antonietta is the company’s taster and creative, who roasts and manages the gyro.

Tolima Roots

María Antonieta was born in Ibagué. He grew up with his family in the traditional La Macarena neighborhood. He was part of the first promotion of graduates from Champaignat School as high school graduates. Her father was the remembered businessman Marco Antonio Bahamón and her mother, Mrs. Soledad Cardona, who still lives in the house where María Antonieta grew up.

After graduation, the young woman went to Bogotá to study one of her great passions: architecture. He trained as a professional at Pilot University. He managed to practice in the country for some time, until he decided to emigrate to Mexico 20 years ago because of a lucrative job offer; Without thinking that he would later go to the United States to discover his greatest business: coffee.

,At that time the world of coffee was completely foreign to me. I had no idea about coffee until I lived in Colombia. What’s more, I barely drink coffee. I could not understand or measure the quality of coffee in Tolima and Colombia in general”. recognizes him.

However, the blood says His father’s family, originally from Dolores, Tolima, was always involved in coffee production. Fate had it in store that many years later, Marie Antoinette would return to her coffee-growing roots, albeit unintentionally.

After nearly a decade in Mexico, she decided to move to the United States for a business opportunity that arose for her husband. By that time she had become a mother, and she suspended her work activities, until six years ago when she decided to start her own business.

,From one moment to the next, I kept thinking that I wanted to have a brand of coffee, I don’t really know why. but i know this From the very beginning, the name Yipao Coffee was clear to me, as a tribute to the traditional vehicles in which coffee is transported in our country. Besides, it is very loud, it attracts attention and it has a lot to do with our country“, explain.


Starting out like most businesses was difficult. Maria Antonieta began buying Colombian coffee from marketers in the United States. They would then pay to package it and sell it under the name Yipao Coffee. In fact, he remembers that one of the first coffees he ever bought was from Omar Arango Tinoco, a renowned coffee grower from Tolima, Lebanon.

By then Marie Antoinette was still a coffee novice. He had a lot to learn. They still didn’t have their own store, much less a toaster, but the dream quickly took shape with enthusiasm and work.

,Little by little we started getting to know each other. We started with a table and a tent at one of the San Diego farmers markets. They are street markets where small businesses display their products. Then we bought a trailer, rented space, and started selling coffee-based beverages. That is, we did the whole school step by step.“, Report.

Thus, Yipao coffee became known in the central and historical area of ​​the city. The brand was growing by leaps and bounds. He left the trailer to open his first store. Everything was ready to open it in March 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic struck.

,At first there was a lot of uncertainty. We could not open it. However, luckily we had a window left to the street, and since going out was not prohibited here during the pandemic, we continued to sell anyway. The pandemic was a boon for us earlier, as it helped us survive and sell“, reveals.

That same year, in 2020, he opened a roastery to personally take care of the last process in the coffee production chain. Then came another store. ,My father’s death was the factor that motivated my desire to complete this project. Somehow he is present at Yipao Coffee. I wanted to start the company to stay connected to my country, not to lose touch, but it was also a tribute to my father’s legacy.”, he appears amidst the agony.

A coffee professional

Marie Antonietta, increasingly interested in coffee, trained as a QArabicaGrader tester at the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). ,This is someone who is certified as a professional coffee taster and we are the ones who assess the qualities and score of each coffee.teach.

The same happened with her husband, Jairo, who trained as a roaster. ,Every time he roasts coffee better. He devoted himself to studying, taking courses, doing what he does. Without your support, Yipao Coffee would not be what it is today”highlight.

Marie Antoinette in the midst of tasting coffee.

The qualities of coffee from Tolima

Yipao Coffee currently buys very high quality coffee from various producers in Colombia, especially from Tolima. However, for reasons of roots, added to the characteristics of the region, Maria Antonieta prefers to bring coffee from Tolima.

,The highly productive land that we have has different thermal strata. There are incredible coffees in Tolima, a region rich in quality and expanse of land. We have to offer and invite very high quality coffee. Furthermore, we must add the varieties that are alwaysbran and the correct process that our manufacturers use”, he insists.

Marie Antoinette aims to buy all the coffee Direct, without any mediation. Although they have already made considerable progress in this regard, especially with the people of Tolima, there are still producers from other regions that they do not know.

,We aim to do total direct business. That means buying all of our coffee directly from the growers. We are on that path. This is another important goal for Yipao Coffee.“, he points out.

For now, Yipao Coffee is a consistent exporter of the most famous coffee producers in Tolima: Omar Arango Tinoco, Neurale Gutierrez, John Espitia and Wilmington Gutierrez, In the next few days they will also launch a new line of coffee, produced by an indigenous reservation in the township of Gaetana, Planadas.


Yipao Coffee is a brand with a large projection in the Southern United States, growing without losing sight of its Colombian and Tolima roots. Marie Antoinette and her family know how far they can go with work, discipline, and passion.

,Coffee became an obsession. It’s a world you love. Obviously it has to be profitable, but the world of coffee is a beautiful, captivating place. it’s become a lifestyle”, he expresses.

So the aim is to take Yipao Coffee not only to California but also to other cities in other states. However, his goals go beyond personal desires. He wants to make the dreams of many more Tollemans come true.

,I would also like to be the foundation that supports the growth of Tollemans Coffee in Southern California., This is my goal for the future: for Yipao to become the home of coffee from Tolima in California. After that, we can ship coffee to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and other nearby states. this is my big dream”, he concluded.

For now, María Antonieta complies and strives so that Colombian coffee, but especially that of Tolima, remains a preferential position in a country that values ​​the quality of the grains produced on this side of the world.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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