Sholi Coop & Luz Marina - Women's History Month Feature

Our next Women's History Month coffees (Sholi Natural and Costa Rica Santa Elena) come to us from Atlas Coffee Importers, where more than half of their team is made up of women! We have worked with Atlas for years as a trusted importer to help bridge the gap with farms/ producers we do not have a Direct Trade relationship with to ensure we are getting the highest quality lots from countries they work with!

Atlas Importers

We are delighted to feature the Women of Rwanda and the Sholi Cooperative, meaning "Mutual Assistance," located in Muhanga district, Southern Province, Rwanda. Established in 2008, Sholi has been producing coffee for nearly a decade, with a mission grounded in mutual assistance and community upliftment.

Sholi's journey began as a women's association called “Kundwa,” meaning “love” in Kinyarwanda. Today, over one-third of Sholi's members are women, showcasing a strong commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment. Notably, two of the five board members are women, further illustrating the cooperative's dedication to inclusive leadership.

sholi coop - bird rock coffee roasters

Beyond coffee production, Sholi is deeply invested in improving the well-being of its members and the broader community. Recognizing the need for accessible healthcare, the cooperative built a regional health center in 2016, providing vital medical services to residents. Additionally, Sholi initiated a women and children's nutrition program, addressing malnutrition and promoting healthy lifestyles within the community.

Through initiatives like the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and the Relationship Coffee Institute's (RCI) Women's Coffee Program, women producers at Sholi receive training, resources, and market access, empowering them to thrive as entrepreneurs. The cooperative's commitment to sustainable agriculture is reflected in its Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic certifications, as well as its investments in beekeeping and agroforestry projects.

Atlas coffee importers shared some updates during their visit to Sholi in June 2023, and witnessed firsthand the cooperative's dedication to community transformation. From empowering young single mothers with agricultural skills to investing in solar dryers for improved coffee processing, Sholi continues to lead by example in sustainable development.

This Month, we're honored to feature Rwanda: Sholi Natural, from Abateraninkunga ba Sholi Cooperative, offering our customers a taste of Rwanda's finest and help us celebrate the resilience, leadership, and passion of women producers like those at Sholi, whose contributions enrich our coffee community and inspire us all.


Sholi Cooperative - bird rock coffee roasters

bird rock coffee - santa elena honey

Luz Marina Trujillo, a passionate coffee producer from Costa Rica, has dedicated herself to crafting some of the finest coffees available at her estate, Santa Elena, nestled in the highlands of Tarrazú. Growing up in a family of coffee producers, Luz Marina's childhood was filled with the aroma of coffee beans, shaping her deep connection to the craft. At Santa Elena, every step of the coffee production process is meticulously attended to, from hand-picking and sorting the ripe cherries to careful depulping, washing, and slow drying on patios to enhance flavor complexity. Committed to sustainability, Luz Marina employs holistic practices, including a closed-loop fertilizing system and eco-friendly water treatment, ensuring minimal environmental impact.

Known for her innovative approaches, Luz Marina was one of the first estate owners in Costa Rica to produce Pulped Natural “Honey” coffee, adding layers of cotton candy and butterscotch to the classic Tarrazú profile. In recent years, she has expanded her offerings to include full natural process coffees and subdivided lots, providing a diverse range of flavors from the Santa Elena Estate. The 2023 arrivals showcase the pinnacle of Luz Marina's craftsmanship, with bright berry acidity and complex flavor profiles ranging from cherry and raisin to plum and lemon. With each cup, Luz Marina's dedication to quality shines through, and we are honored to offer you her Santa Elena Honey coffee for Women’s History Month! 

Santa Elena Honey

Feb 29th 2024