Coffee with a Vision
Verracoffee started as a project under the Center for Community Transformation, a non-profit organization that helps the entrepreneurial poor across the country. Through the project, the founder, Vanessa Velasco, had opportunities to go around the country, meet farmers, fishermen and vendors, and see in these people, a richness in their spirit and an overflowing love and trust in God’s purpose and provision in spite of them being poor.
The year 2020 became a pivotal year marked by a series of closed doors. First was the eruption of the Taal Valcano that nearly destroyed farms in Southern Luzon. The barako industry alone lost approximately 1.2 billion pesos. A few months later, Covid-19 began to spread and the country went into lockdown, which also caused the project in CCT to come to a halt. But God showed Vanessa a verse at the beginning of the year, and she has held on to this promise since:
Behold I will do a new thing
Now it shall spring forth
Shall you not perceive it?
I will even make a path in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
And indeed, there were doors that have been opened at the middle of the year. For out of this pandemic led to the founding of VerraCoffee. More doors were opened when Vanessa met several farmers and players in the Philippine coffee industry, old and new friends who were willing to partner with her in bringing the coffee outside Philippine shores.
Two long-time friends have helped her in the initial stages of setting up the company, and now have become exclusive distributors in their respective regions: Junie Jumig, who resides in New Zealand, developed the corporate and product branding of VerraCoffee; and Angelica Cabahug, who is in Malaysia, pushed the brand’s marketing and publicity initiatives among her contacts in the ASEAN.
Then in just a few months after the company started operating, a Cebu-based businessman, Quintin Gomez III, discovered VerraCoffee and saw that the group had a similar advocacy as his, and offered to invest his time and capital for co-ownership of the company.
With the founding team formed during the first year of VerraCoffee’s operations, and with the company acquiring a license to operate from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and an account in the United States FDA Industry Systems, the beans cultivated by local farmers here in the Philippines are now being distributed internationally, particularly in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore. The market is expanding as more Filipinos overseas are wanting a taste of home – the kind of coffee that they grew up with, and the coffee that can help their home country rise above ashes of what seemed to be a bleak situation.
And since the project started with CCT, Vanessa has not forgotten her roots and the very reason why she even founded the company. A portion of the sales of VerraCoffee goes to the Eduk-Aksyon program of CCT’s Visions of Hope Foundation where VerraCoffee sponsors a tribal child’s education. This way, VerraCoffee is investing in the future generation who can potentially preserve the heritage of Filipino coffee while bringing it to new vistas, and hopefully, fulfill the vision of putting the Philippines back in the world coffee map.
VerraCoffee in its first year
Now in just one year, VerraCoffee has reached 15 states and countries, with steady distributorship in the Asia Pacific region and shipments to the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
Join us in this journey
FOR OUR HERITAGE
Everytime you purchase VerraCoffee, you are helping preserve a part of our world coffee heritage, because Philippine coffee — particularly the Liberica — is among the most rare in the world.
FOR OUR FARMERS
By purchasing Philippine products, you are helping provide livelihood to the coffee farmers, who are indigenous people groups in the Philippines
FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
A portion of VerraCoffee’s income goes to Vision of Hope Foundation, the ministry for children under the banner of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries. You can actually help send a child to school while enjoying your favorite coffee.
Join us in this journey