Café Rica was not on the radar when George Bredehoft visited his wife’s hometown in Costa Rica over 15 years ago and embarked on a search for the perfect coffee. After a long search across Costa Rica, he found Café Naranjo, a co-op of 2,400 family owned farms who work together for financial stability and environmental sustainability.
Fast forward 15 years and meet George’s sons: local Battle Creek brothers, Jackson and Tristan Bredehoft. After growing up carrying suitcases of coffee back to the US for personal consumption, they realized there was a market for the product in the US. In 2016, Café Rica began as a distributor of Café Naranjo coffee beans. They quickly realized the need to offer samples of the product to develop interest and cultivate a following for the flavorful coffee. Their solution came in the form of bottled cold brewed coffee. The need for a bottling facility led the team to a commercial incubator kitchen as a jumpstart to safely prepare and package their product. The original plan for summer 2018 was for the duo to attend festivals and tradeshows to build the customer base for their products, however, a unique opportunity presented itself mid stride: BC Cargo. “When learning about the BC Cargo model, we knew it was time to adjust our business plan and apply to become a BC Cargo merchant,” stated Jackson Bredehoft, co-owner.
“It was a dream come true the day we received Café Rica’s application to launch at BC Cargo,” noted Valerie Byrnes, Business Retention and Development Manager with the Small Business Development Fund. “Downtown coffee options had been quite limited at the time BC Cargo was coming on line, and Café Rica’s high quality products and high energy personalities screamed success,” includes John Hart, Development Director. After securing a space at BC Cargo, Tristan and Jackson set their sights full steam ahead. In their first 6 weeks in the space, their profits increased by 755%. “Our goal is to be the microbrew of coffee,” says Tristan. The team has lofty goals after their inaugural season in BC Cargo. In addition to launching Café Naranjo into stores as the sole US supplier of their pre-roasted beans, the team is looking to expand into a permanent location and continue to evolve their offerings with locally sourced baked goods and specialty drinks. Currently, their cold brew can be found bottled at BC Comics, Sawall’s Health Food Stores, Squirrel Hollow Golf Course, Sprout Urban Farms, and on tap at The Cricket Club.
"“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”"--Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos