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How Café WAIVA - Productos Alimenticios del Gualivá SAS Was Born

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

It's a beautiful entrepreneurial story that began in 2015 when Hugo Hernán Moreno was in his senior school year at La Magdalena Departmental Educational Institution in the municipality of Quebradanegra, Cundinamarca. At that time, simultaneously with the National Learning Service (SENA), he was pursuing a technical program in Administrative Assistance. Coming from a coffee-farming family with limited resources, every Friday after finishing his school day, he stayed behind from the school route to attend his SENA course, which took place from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. After completing his studies, he had to walk approximately 9 kilometers to reach his home located in a village called La Verbena in the aforementioned municipality.

The business idea arose when he had to present a productive project for the production phase of the Administrative Assistance technical program at SENA. Since his parents were coffee farmers, he decided to take a new step in the coffee production chain on his farm. Typically in Colombia, coffee-farming families sell their parchment-dried coffee as raw material to intermediaries such as buyers and cooperatives of large companies. These intermediaries then resell it to other milling and roasting companies that provide milling services to companies with their own brands and distribute through their various sales channels.

Hugo, upon realizing these value chains, identified that if he carried out the production processes of storage, milling, grain selection and classification, roasting, grinding, packaging, and coffee marketing on his own farm, it would result in a significant reduction of indirect and direct production costs. Hence, his business idea was born. He also realized that this approach could help his family and coffee-farming families in the region. Moreover, by doing so, he could enter the specialty coffee market because the coffee to be roasted would come from the same region, the same coffee variety, grown at an elevation between 1600 and 2100 meters above sea level, and cultivated using modern techniques that guarantee a good quality cup. Currently, the company is in its early stages of quality certifications and origin denomination. Organic producer certification is one of the upcoming goals.

After completing his high school education and the Administrative Assistance technical program, Hugo decided to make this productive project his life's project. Since then, he has been working diligently with the vision of becoming a significant company in the Gualivá region, his place of origin, and competitive in the specialty coffee market. Initially, using a motorcycle, he began promoting the sales of his coffee, which he roasted in a cauldron over a wood-burning stove and ground by hand.

He worked on several projects to secure seed capital, including the Cundinamarca Departmental Entrepreneurship Fund, which provided capital to purchase a coffee roaster in 2017. He also applied for various calls from the Fondo Emprender (Entrepreneurship Fund), and for the National Call 75 / Cut 2 of 2020, he became a beneficiary. This transitioned his operation from being a natural person to becoming a legal entity known as Productos Alimenticios del Gualivá SAS.

Throughout his journey, he found significant support. While pursuing sales in his region, he met Mr. Federico Márquez, who, along with a company in which he is a shareholder, Márquez Aguel Hermanos SAS, has been assisting in the execution of this entrepreneurial project. With their guidance, the WAIVA Café trademark has been used, building on the Panela WAIVA trademark, and it is currently gaining momentum in corporate offices, restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops in the city of Bogotá.

Productos Alimenticios del Gualivá SAS, beyond producing and marketing specialty coffees, has the mission of marketing natural and healthy food products. The goal is to allow visitors to this website to acquire products of excellent quality and to contribute to the agro-industrial economic sector of the Colombian countryside, specifically in the Gualivá region of the Cundinamarca department.

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