If this week’s Face of Northeast looks familiar, that’s because she is! Erika Noguera, owner of Doña Fina Café, became acquainted with Northeast when she worked with the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood as a Community Organizer before moving to the Mattie Rhodes Center as a Program Manager.
Now, she has found her calling in bringing coffee from her family farm in Guatemala to the Kansas City coffee scene.
“We love the coffee culture here in Kansas City and I think we’re unique within that scene because we represent the product from our family-owned farm all the way to the cup,” Noguera said.
Bringing value back to the farm and to Guatemala is the key, she said. The 30-acre plot has been in the family for over 100 years and is worked daily by her father. Harvest is presently occurring and she hopes to import 5,000 pounds of coffee beans this season, doubling last year’s import capacity for the three-year-old company.
Doña Fina doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar store yet so Noguera relies on Maps Coffee in Lenexa for roasting. A new vending trailer added in 2020 has allowed her to travel to festivals and shows to gain greater exposure for her company.
This past year, despite the pandemic, Doña Fina Café partnered with Of The Earth Farm & Distilling to create a café liqueur and also with Blip Roasters with art on the coffee bag provided by local artist Chico Sierra.
“I hope our presence in the market will make people more aware of that special relationship with the grower,” Noguera said. “We want to honor the blessing we have in the family land and to do more with our family farm.”