My Road to Specialty Coffee

A few years ago, I never thought I'd return to the coffee business. It's been over a decade since I ran my own coffeeshop and I remember all the challenges very vividly.

At the time, we served a particular type of customer-- smokers who loved coffee -- that when the city passed a law to make smoking illegal in public places, our revenues dropped severely. Eventually, my partners and I ended up closing that business. Back then, the coffee business for me wasn't really about the coffee, it was about having a great location where people can hang out and enjoy a cup. Needless to say, I hadn't heard about specialty coffee and didn't know what it was about.

Fast forward over a decade and here I am again, this time in a family-owned venture, and about to embark on a journey that is all about the coffee. It took our late father's foresight and all us siblings a couple of years planning and execution to deliver this project.

But mind you, we are not operating a coffeeshop, although if you come visit, I can serve you a brew. Instead, what we're really about is a vision. For example, the province of Iloilo produces arguably the best mangos in the world. Now imagine that you live here but have no way of tasting this fruit. Instead, what's available in stores are pre-packaged dried mangos of indeterminate quality from some neighboring southeast asian country. That's pretty much the state of coffee throughout our country. Our vision is to help change that.

We exist to find and help elevate Philippine Arabica to the world stage of Specialty Coffees. We are La Roasteria.


Salvador "Bodi" Mijares
Founding Partner & Head Roaster

January 2013