One of the things I noticed about Andrea Giraldo is her fierce passion and pride. Pride in being a woman, a mom, of her Latina heritage and the rarity of being a woman at the helm of her own business in an industry dominated by men. In fact, this was one of the things that drew me to her display amongst a sea of others at the Coffee and Tea Festival last month; the proud pronouncement with a tag on the table that hers was a woman-owned business.
A&G Trading Company and Giraldo Farms Coffee
Giraldo Farms Coffee is a product of the A&G Trading Company which is owned by Ms. Giraldo. A&G Trading was founded in 2004 and, according to the website, “is dedicated to the distribution of natural, organic, specialty and ethnic foods. Specializing in foods from Colombia, our products have a Latin focus and are sourced globally.”
The Scarcity of Women
Women are rare in this industry. Ms. Giraldo says, “When I started A&G Trading, it was actually less women in distribution, now I [am seeing] more, but I can say about 85-90% of the people I deal with on a daily basis are men.” She also says she is “not sure if women do not like distribution or do not think of it as a feminine career, but I have not at one moment lost touch with my feminine side.”
To further illustrate the rarity of encountering women in Ms. Giraldo’s experiences in this industry, on a recent trip to Galicia (Spain) having been invited by the Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Giraldo found herself one of two women-business-owners out of 80 buyers from around the world.
All About the Coffee
While A& G has over 600 items and the coffee is relatively new, Giraldo Farms Coffee has been a long time coming and a true labor of love. Ms. Giraldo speaks passionately of her experiences.
“When living in Colombia spending many weekends and vacations on coffee farms, actually playing tag with my sister and cousins in the middle of the coffee fields, as little girls observing coffee pickers and trying to pick coffee beans as well to see if our parents or elders would pay us.
As an adult observing how much the economics of a country would be affected with the offer/demand of one single item, it was fascinating to me; and it is along with my Colombian heritage that two years ago I started to search for Colombian beans, and what was out in the market, what was not; to me it is more of my tribute to my heritage that I truly love, and I am grateful for having the opportunity to connect with my heritage, living, sharing, growing, basically all about Colombia.”
With passion in her heart for coffee, her heritage and belief in herself as a woman to make a way in a male-dominated industry, Ms. Giraldo says, “The distribution business is a man’s world but I believe that in life, you find your niche and make it work for you.” As you can see, her passion always seems to shine through.
Try Giraldo Farms Coffee Free
The Giraldo Farms Coffee website is offering a “TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!” opportunity. Check out the varieties available and request your free sample of Colombian Ground Light.