Kelowna couple starts coffee business during global pandemic

Coffee start-up challenging

Starting a business is challenging on its own but doing it in the middle of a global pandemic sounds nearly impossible, however a Kelowna couple did just that with the launch of Model Bean Coffee.

Camilo Isaza and Diana Torres immigrated to Canada 15 years ago from Colombia and Isaza had been working in the entertainment industry before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

"Things happened and unfortunately that industry was the first to be hit and it's probably going to be the last one to be back in full business," he says. "It's going to take a very long time for us to be back to normal so we needed to reinvent ourselves."

So the pair turned to coffee, something that was very familiar back in their hometown in South America.

"We grew up with coffee. Coffee was part of our culture, it's an everyday thing back home in Columbia. We didn't realize how good it was until we moved here and started experiencing other things," says Isaza.

Then Model Bean Coffee was developed using their family's farm in the hills of Colombia. The coffee also comes in biodegradable packaging and follows a hand-picked organic way of production.

"The family recipe that we have is the original recipe from way back in the day so this is truly 100 per cent Colombian coffee," says Isaza.

Now that the business has launched, the pair says they did encounter some unique challenges along the way since they started Model Bean Coffee during the pandemic.

"Everything was closed so there was no doors you could knock on to ask any questions so basically Google was my best friend for the first two weeks," says Isaza. "After that it just became natural to me to just get out there and research and do more research."

Now the pair is busy filling orders from across Canada and they say the Okanagan community has been very supportive.

To learn more about Model Bean Coffee click here.

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