Joven and Atucún Join Forces to Empower Young Farmers

The two brands have collaborated to create a unique coffee bar and support young farmers in the coffee and cacao industries.

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Photos courtesy of Joven Coffee 

For their first-of-its-kind bar, Joven Coffee and Atucún Chocolateria combined coffee beans, extracted cocoa butter, and organic cane sugar. Committed to supporting young farmers across the globe, Joven sourced the coffee and cocoa butter from 23-year-olds Abraham Pacheco and Ivan Pineda Gamez, respectively. By collaborating with Atucún, Joven Coffee showcases their dedication to making youth agriculture central to their products. Barista Magazine Online reached out to Joven Coffee’s founder, Frankie Volkema, to learn more about the origin story of this bar.  

A bag of Joven coffee features an illustration of two people clinking coffee mugs together in a toast underneath a floating blue coffee bean. The coffee is Honduras Abraham Pacheco, with notes of honey, crisp apple, melon and citrus.
Frankie launched the Joven label under her family’s roaster, Sparrows Coffee in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Story Behind the Joven-Atucún Coffee Bar 

The coffee bar marks an exciting new chapter for both brands and demonstrates their passion for providing unique products and investing in young farmers. They hope that their example will inspire others to do the same. Frankie of Joven Coffee says, “This collaboration has been authentic since day one, and it really started from a friendship between our team at Joven and Chad Morton (a co-owner of Atucún). The initial idea for a ’coffee bar’ was Atucún’s idea. After talking, we realized that by collaborating with them, we had the opportunity to create a unique product and ultimately something that the coffee marketplace hasn’t seen before. Our long-term goal with Joven is to help young farmers realize that there can be a robust and lucrative marketplace for high-quality coffee and chocolate products.”

The launch of the coffee bar has been incredibly successful, thanks to its unique concept and delicious offerings. It’s a new and fun way for people to enjoy coffee in dessert form. Additionally, this collaboration is a great example of how two brands can come together to create something special and meaningful. Frankie says that cross-brand collaborations can be powerful when executed properly. They offer access to a new audience for each brand and can encourage innovation. The brands need to fit together in order for both audiences to benefit from and understand the connection. 

Frankie dips a spoon into a cupping vessel, among four other vessels on a black table. Frankie wears a black tee, two necklaces, and pink nail polish She has long blonde hair.
With Joven Coffee, Frankie Volkema—a licensed Q Grader—aims to showcase coffees from young farmers.

Supporting Youth Agriculture 

At 13, Frankie had already earned the prestigious Q Grader certification for coffee. Not content to stop there, she launched Joven in Grand Rapids, Mich. Her goal is to support and empower young people in the coffee industry; the average age of coffee farmers in some countries is 55 or higher, and the near future faces a severe talent shortage. Most young people do not find coffee farming appealing due to its perceived low-income potential.  

Joven celebrates young farmers who are producing great coffee. They specifically source coffees that score 84 points or higher and are produced by farmers under the age of 35. By doing so, Joven hopes to bring attention to this talent shortage and encourage more youth to become coffee farmers. With Atucún, both companies share a commitment to supporting farmers with sustainable pricing.  

Retail wrapped coffee bars. They say "Secure the future of of chocolate. support young farmers." The bars are wrapped in white paper with yellow and pink and brown accents.
This bar contains only three ingredients: coffee, cocoa butter, and organic cane sugar. 

“Joven happens to focus on a subgroup of farmers under the age of 35. When we started working with Atucún, we didn’t even realize that the same sustainability crisis facing young coffee farmers extended to the cacao industry as well. Once we realized that, we knew we had to find a way to get involved with cacao and the end product: chocolate,” Frankie says. 

Future Farmers

Through their creation of the coffee bar, Joven and Atucún have demonstrated their commitment to young farmers. They are dedicated to finding creative solutions to support them. This forward-thinking partnership is an example of how brands can come together to make a difference. By investing in youth agriculture and creating meaningful opportunities, Joven and Atucún are helping ensure that future generations will benefit from coffee and cacao products. Together, they are setting an exciting new standard for sustainability and quality that will hopefully continue for years to come. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine, and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.

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