The story of 'Big Red' and its Journey to Nicaragua

Bean North Coffee Roasting's old roaster 'Big Red'Bean North Coffee donated Big Red a beautiful small-batch coffee roaster, to the SOPPEXCCA Cooperative in Nicaragua in the fall of 2010. We had replaced Big Red our small-batch roaster with a much larger roaster to deal with our growing needs as a coffee roaster.

This freed up Big Red – worth about $10,000 – which we overhauled, serviced and provided an operating and repair manual for. The challenge now was to get it to SOPPEXCCA Cooperative who were ready to venture into roasting their own coffee and providing it to tourists, locals and businesses in their own country! So Bean North looked to their friends and customers to help raise enough money to send Big Red to Jinotega, Nicaragua.

Members of the SOPPEXCCA Cooperative are coffee growers for Cooperative Coffees, North America’s original and most respected 100% fair trade cooperative (even the Wall Street Journal recognizes their good work and integrity), of which Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd. is a founding Canadian member.

650 families are members of SOPPEXCCA. Located in Jinotega, in the northwest region of Nicaragua, SOPPEXCCA has won awards for the high quality of their coffee. They have trained members to be coffee quality inspectors, barristas, and environmental educators and have been recognized for the high level of cooperation of their members.

They were delighted to be the recipients of Big Red! Due to the success of their cafe and local sales they really needed a roaster to meet their growing demand for fresh roasted coffee.

When Keiran Duncan, our contact with FLO International first heard of this project he said: “That is fantastic news about the roaster, the spare parts and possible support on installation. I spoke to the folks in SOPPEXCCA on the phone and they are delighted about being able to take up the roaster whenever it suits you.”

Everyone here at Bean North would like to thank all the people who made donations to help ship our old roaster Big Red to the SOPPEXCCA cooperative in Nicaragua.

Fatima Ismael of SOPPEXCCA also sent her gratitude and says that: “UCA SOPPEXCCA RL’s cupping team and roaster are so excited.”

Knowing who grows your coffee is important, and projects like this one help to foster connections and relationships with people around the world.

Bean North staff prepare the roaster 'Big Red' for shipment to Nicaragua   'Big Red', Bean North Coffee's old roaster is now used by the SOPEXCCA co-op in Nicaragua