By Michelle Fish
We are on a mission to put a name, a face, and a place on every cup of coffee we serve at BIGGBY COFFEE. To do that, we often travel with a photographer. When we can, we like to hire local talent in the countries we visit.
Earlier this year, we visited two regions in Honduras. We were lucky to be introduced to Elias Assaf, an accomplished photographer and videographer based out of San Pedro Sula. Elias has a lot of experience capturing the lives of people involved in all aspects of coffee. I encourage you to check out his website for some truly beautiful images.
In the meantime, I am thrilled to share with you a blog post that Elias wrote for us about his experience with One BIGG Island in Space.
By Elias Assaf
I remember the day vividly when I received Michelle’s message while casually holding a cup of coffee. Her message read something like “Hey Elías, I’m Michelle Fish from BIGGBY COFFEE! We’re part of an organization called One BIGG Island in Space, and we’re planning to visit various coffee producers in Honduras. I was wondering if you’d be interested in joining us and documenting the experience with photographs.” My heart began to beat faster than my brain, and my response was a resounding yes! I’ve always loved telling stories through photography, and it all becomes even better when the central theme is coffee.
But let me tell you, this opportunity didn’t come to me by pure luck. It was all thanks to Kathya Irías, founder and president of Spirit Animal Coffee, a very special coffee shop in my city, San Pedro Sula. This coffee shop has revolutionized the way coffee is consumed by caring about the well-being of the producers and offering fair and dignified prices for their product.
Back to the adventure with BIGGBY COFFEE. I met Michelle and her husband Bob at Kathya’s coffee shop, just before heading into the mountains. Rich, representing the coffee roaster Paramount Coffee, and Jorge Ferrey Machado, a coffee producer from Nicaragua and an OBIIS Farm-Direct partner, also joined us.
What impressed me most about this group of people was their ability to adapt to the community. Michelle, Bob, and Rich proved to be all-around people, sharing simple dishes like rice and fried chicken and drinks made with local fruits. We immersed ourselves in the culture and traditions of Honduran coffee producers and learned about the challenges they face in producing quality coffee.
After Subirana, we headed to the giant department of Olancho. The excitement was palpable as we headed into the mountains in search of the best coffee producers in Honduras. As we progressed, we began to better understand the importance of fair and dignified work in the coffee supply chain.
In summary, my experience with BIGGBY COFFEE and Spirit Animal Coffee was a unique and unforgettable adventure. I fell even more in love with coffee and its production process, and was glad to see that there are companies that care about doing the right thing. I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to see what the future holds for the coffee industry.