Puerto Rican Coffee to Rescue Island’s Economy
SAN JUAN – During a presentation of its most recent innovations in the coffee industry and how it will make its way into the homes of many Puerto Ricans, Alto Grande informed that it is committed to helping Puerto Rico’s economy.
Alto Grande will release Thursday three new coffee capsules with a variety of intensities, after being the first launching a coffee capsule of 100% Arabic Puerto Rican coffee. At the same time, these capsules will be sold in stores island-wide.
“We chose Alto Grande as the main brand to launch this product. You have innovation with the capsules and you have the perfect brand because it is 100% Puerto Rico coffee, and the perfect company because it is being produced in Ponce. Apart from the fact that Alto grande is premium coffee of the best quality,” Jorge Hernández, sale and export manager of Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters, Alto Grande’s parent company, explained in an interview with Caribbean Business about its business plan.
The product expansion is intended to fill a coffee niche — especially among millennials — that could only purchase Alto Grande’s products online. The main difference between the previous and the current product, which can also be found in grocery stores, is the price. A single unit could cost 30 cents more when bought online.
The advantage of having this business on specific coffee websites is it could reach an international palate. Aficionados of Puerto Rican coffee can be found in Germany, Italy, Spain and of course, stateside. The online sales revenue, at a minimum of $200 per order, stays on the island, a fact Hernández emphasized.
“We had two business options: Repackage the coffee in another country or make the investment to package the coffee here. Obviously, we made the investment and the machine is in Ponce,” Hernández added.
In addition to keeping the money on the island, the company creates about 500 jobs, which include coffee pickers and plant operators, during harvest season.
“We offer benefits to all our employees and it is only a stigma that people do not want to work on the farms, harvesting. We are seriously committed, and when people notice that, they want to work with us,” Hernández said.
Alto Grande has been selling 100% Puerto Rican coffee to the world for more than a 100 years.