Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters

For the Greater Good Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters

Brent Bromstrup owns and manages Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters based in Windsor Colorado. Brent gives back to Guatemala Coffee Growers in the highlands of Guatemala, through a strategy he calls the“Greater Good.” Guatemala has many organizations offering help to local communities; Brent has created something uniquely different. Ethical Fashion Guatemala has worked with Brent for a number of years I would like to share our experiences with working with Top of the Lake Coffee.

A few years back Casa Flor Ixcaco, a weaving Co-operative in San Juan La Laguna came to Ethical Fashion in need of shipping products they produce for a show in Denver Colorado organized by a man named Brent. We had never met Brent. Emails back and forth with Brent organizing the shipments occurred. All went well and the event resulted in sales of over 20 kilos of handwoven textiles. This has now become an annual event with key leaders from Casa Flor Ixcaco traveling to Colorado to demonstrate their weaving and sell their beautiful products.

Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters

Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters

“Greater Good” Are not just words, they are measurable results of economic impact from the sales of Guatemalan Roasted coffee. Brent, through Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters, donates funds and resources for business development in the village of San Juan La Laguna on Lake Atitlan. He purchases green coffee from growers in the highlands of Guatemala then gives money and strategic resources from each bag of Roasted Coffee to the San Juan Community.

Brent’s work is different from others; when weavers in San Juan La Laguna needed their own Gardens for growing herbs to dye the natural textiles they produce and a Hass avocado grove to sell for revenue, Brent partnered with the weavers to purchase and establish the essential plants to support their efforts to expand their business.  The “Greater Good” initiatives have provided small business loans to local entrepreneurs, and groups have come to work with the local business offering education and construction projects.

Casa Flor Ixcaco sale on the Boulder Mall

TOTL Packaging and cup

While Brent’s work may sound similar to other Organizations this is the difference we have experienced. The finished projects, (I hate that term), are owned by the local groups Brent supports through his funding and partnerships. The yearly weaving demonstrations events in Denver are opportunities for the Artisans to sell their textiles and keep all the sales income. Brent often hosts the Artisans at his home.

For Ethical Fashion Guatemala, our relationship has grown with Brent and Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters since the early days of shipping boxes of textiles to that first show in Denver 2 years ago. Last fall we shipped 13 boxes of Textiles to Denver for his annual fall events.

Casa Flor and TOTL coffee sale on Boulder Mall

Ethical can import products from the US and we needed a US fulfillment location for shipments processed prior to importing to Guatemala. Brent, through Top of the Lake Coffee Roasters, provides this service without charging a fee.

Ethical Fashion has entered the export market for Green and Roasted Coffee beans. Three years ago, we knew nothing about the coffee business.  Brent spent hours with us by email, phone calls, and meetings when he was in Guatemala. Without Brent’s help and insight into the difficulties Guatemala Coffee growers face we would not have been able to develop a process for growers to be paid better than market price for their coffee. Today Ethical Fashion Guatemala has shipped Guatemalan Coffee to over 34 countries.

TOTL Packaging and cup

Cafe San Juan with our roaster

Brent and Top of the Lake Coffee operates in what I would like to call an Ethical Fashion, our requests for help he provides without question. We have been through a lot over the years together.  I have often told Brent I would take the time to tell his story. For most, Brent is unknown for his work, which tells you a lot about a person, when they prefer not to be the focal point of the support they provide.



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