Mi Gente Coffee - Rooted in Hard Work, Family, & Tradition.
Colorado Latinos/as to Know and Support: October 2023
Owner Esteban Ortiz
My name is Esteban Ortiz, and I am a proud Denverite who was born and raised in the Mile High City. I come from a loving and hardworking working Latino family. In addition to running Mi Gente Coffee Co., I work in education as a school counselor in Denver am proud to serve my community in this way.
Mi Gente Coffee Co. was started in 2022. As a huge coffee fan, it was only a matter of time until I decided to jump into the wonderful world of coffee roasting. With the help of the folks at RoasterShare, we has able to learn, continue to grow in our roasting skills, and expand as a business. We have grown from farmers markets to supplying local Denver business. We are proud to serve our gente (people) with a quality cup of coffee they can be proud of.
You could find Mi Gente at the Lakewood Farmers Market and the Commons Park pop up market during the 2022 market season. Keep an eye on Mi Gente's Instagram for updates on future markets.
Is your heritage/identity/culture a part of your business?
My culture is very much a part of my business. Mi Gente (My People) is for the workers that get up before the sun comes up and go to bed after it has set. It's for the mom that works as a counselor helping nuestra gente (our people). It's for the dad that builds a firme (awesome) looking ranfla (lowrider) on his own. It's for the first generation student working full-time to pay for college. It's for the nurse who spends her weekend caring for others. Mi Gente is a tribute to the hardworking and dedicated individuals that keep this country going. Grab a bag and enjoy, mi gente.
"Our company aims to provide customers with a quality cup of coffee that you can enjoy with your gente. We want a brand that speaks to our experience. Hard work, family, and tradition. Whether it’s enjoying a cup with friends, family, or a stranger, Mi Gente coffee company invites you to a cafecito." - Mi Gente Coffee Co. website
Being a small business owner is not easy. What challenges have you faced?
The biggest challenge for me has been business tax requirements. Learning about taxes seemed like such a steep hill to climb when I first started. With the constantly changing requirements and regulations, it's definitely something that has been a challenge.
What sets your business apart from others? I am proud to say Mi Gente was built from the ground up. Every cup of coffee that leaves our hands has been roasted in Denver. As a Latino in the coffee industry, coffee roasting is a passion we hope to continue to grow within our community.
What are you most proud of?
Being given the opportunity to highlight the diversity of our people and cater to our vibrant community through coffee makes me proud. I hope my coffee and its flavors reflect the depth and richness of mi gente!
What is the most joyful part of your business?
The journey a coffee bean takes to get to your cup is truly amazing. The sights and smells of coffee before and after it's roasted … there's really nothing like it. I am so fortunate to be able to take a small part in roasting and serving coffee to mi gente. It never ceases to be an honor to be a small part of people's morning routines.
What qualities, characteristics, or people have contributed to your success?
Mi Gente Coffee Co. is nothing without mi gente. The support and encouragement from family and friends is the reason for my success.
Tell us a bit about being a Latino/a business owner or the Latino/a business community.
It has been wonderful connecting with the local Latino business community here in Denver. Being able to partner and support other local Latino-owned business has been such an honor and privilege.
What advice do you for others who want to start their own business?
I would say don't be afraid to reach out to other Latino/a owned businesses for guidance and tips. We are a community who looks out for each other and want the best for one another.
All images are the property of Mi Gente Coffee Co.
Some content may have been edited for clarity.