We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It was the start of the pandemic after a recent trip to Honduras to visit family. I came back to California full of amazing energy and coffee that I felt such an urge to share. After years and years of unable to find an exceptional black coffee, I knew what my family had to offer was something unique and special. I was always discouraged by the tasteless coffees around and constantly seeing new sugar-filled recipes. My mission became to share our family and countries delicious coffee with anyone I came in contact with. The feedback confirmed we really did have something special to share as so many were blown away by the rich natural flavors of our coffee. I then began my journey into Farmers Markets and meeting so many wonderful people in the process looking to do the same thing with other delicious products. A year later during a year of the crazy pandemic, Mijos Martinez Coffee is now a coffee brand that provides local communities with the highest quality coffee while providing income and supporting Honduran farmers.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think what sets me apart from a lot of coffee companies is how connected I am to the land and the farmers that I import from. As someone with Honduran background & having grown up in Honduras, I feel such a deep connection to Honduras and coffee is a great way of me expressing that. My family and family friends all have coffee on the farms that we own and my goal is to eventually be able to import larger quantities from all parts of the family to offer a family tasting in a way. It hasn’t been easy by any means to start a business during a pandemic year – especially coffee! I had to battle convincing people to try a coffee they weren’t familiar with at farmers markets without offering a sample. However, this way I was able to work on my genuine salesmanship and form trusting relationships with my customers as they tried the best coffee they’ve ever had. A lot were able to relearn what coffee really should taste like and how special it can be to make a nice cup for yourself in the morning (or afternoon!). I’ve learned a lot during my journey. It sounds cliche, but you can never give up – even if you want to. Just keep showing up. Love yourself and every small step you take. You never know what the day will bring so you always have to show up with a positive attitude and accept the challenge. It won’t always go your way but when your chasing a dream, it wont matter – don’t forget the big picture! I’d like the world to know me as a Honduran coffee lover with the simple desire to get people drinking our delicious coffee black in a calm & peaceful ritual at home! Save your money & Brew at home!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
-1986 Tacos! Best tacos in Los Angeles -Hermosa Beach is the best small beach town to hang out and enjoy the slow beach life
-Sandstone Peak is a great hike that offers 360 views of Ventura & Los Angeles
-Reel Inn is a great stop in between for the freshest fish & chips on your way to Malibu; Amazing Clam Chowder
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think my journey started out as a young kid drinking coffee with my Grandma while she watched her novelas. I loved running to the store to get cookies to dip into the coffee – one of my oldest memories with her growing up. Also, when we had guests over the goal was always to have the kids make a nice cup of coffee for them to enjoy while catching up & gossipping. A huge shout-out to my Uncle aka Tio Yovany for expanding my coffee knowledge and showing me secrets of the farm. In addition, the book, Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight was a great insight into what it takes to endure the challenges of starting a business and dealing with international challenges of any business.