A Colombian-Specialty Coffee Bar Flourishes In A New Hampshire Town

A Colombian-Specialty Coffee Bar Flourishes In A New Hampshire Town

On the seacoast of New Hampshire in a hamlet known as Rye, La Mulita, a Colombian specialty coffee store, has been flourishing. It’s the tale of an immigrant named Max Pruna who settled in New Hampshire, and following a collection of career changes, opened a 1,000-sq.-foot coffee bar in September 2019.

Elevated in Medellin, Colombia, Pruna and his wife attained master’s degrees at Southern New Hampshire College in Manchester, N.H. in 1998. Settling there, he and his spouse worked in current market study for know-how firms, before switching into real-estate, but managed to get their green cards and grow to be citizens.

But the results of La Mulita reveals that specialty espresso stores can entice an audience, even in tiny towns, with a potent product and a market style.

Pruna characteristics its reputation to the “strong Colombia coffee” served. It features “high caffeine, is darker and bolder than other coffees, and presents you a smack in the deal with,” he claims.

Honing in on a single country’s coffee, which several coffee bars do, offers a aggressive edge, he says. But he adds that the hospitality and ambiance add to its achievements.

In 2015 he was invited to a lecture presented by George Howell, a legendary figure in the U.S. Specialty Espresso Entire world, which modified the class of Pruna’s daily life. Howell introduced Finca La Esmeralda, a Colombian coffee, which Pruna uncovered “sweet and fruity, nothing like anything at all I had ever tasted before.”

Pruna plunged into reading about Colombian coffee, visited coffee farms in his native Colombia, attended coffee festivals, linked with house owners, and introduced an Instagram account about roasting coffee. He searched for a calendar year for a house to open up a espresso store in stylish Portsmouth, could not uncover a person, and when driving his children to center faculty in Rye, he passed a “for lease” indication and rented it.

He named it La Mulita, which implies minimal mule in Spanish. Pruna mentioned that “The mule has normally been utilized by the espresso farmers in Colombia to support transportation the large burlap bags filled with espresso cherries from the significant elevated mountains down to the mills or towns.”

Nearly all of the Arabica coffee served in La Mulita is sourced from area, compact Colombian farms of two to five acres.

In Rye, a town of about 5,400 residents and close by New Castle, it draws in a loyal crowd. “Our typical buyers are individuals that like to make connections and relate to other people they are espresso fans who want a every day good quality cup of espresso,” he points out. 

It companions with a bevy of nearby firms this sort of as sourdough bagels from Rose Meals in Portland, gluten-absolutely free donuts from Appreciate Birds in Kittery, and scones from Kate’s Bakery in Kittery.

It was forced to close in March of 2020 when the pandemic escalated. “We experienced to pivot our business enterprise to decide on-up and supply of espresso baggage,” he claims. But as folks stayed house, “they craved a very good cup of espresso,” and company began to bounce back.

In the course of the peak of Covid, it relied on 100{460fb034a27e548ed5501d55c9fd9d89f1a53c3345e8f9d2a556ed1430e65ba9} delivery and delivery espresso wholesale to dining places. “Once we reopened, people commenced sensation relaxed coming out again,” he asserts.

To augment revenue, it sells a line of items together with La Mulita sweatshirts, shirts, beanies, huts and mugs. Its internet site also sells coffee beans that can be delivered.

Its income derives 70{460fb034a27e548ed5501d55c9fd9d89f1a53c3345e8f9d2a556ed1430e65ba9} from retail and 30{460fb034a27e548ed5501d55c9fd9d89f1a53c3345e8f9d2a556ed1430e65ba9} from wholesale and on-line orders together with the goods. 

All of its beans are roasted in-house. It thrives with a workers of two time-baristas, Stuart Young and Heather Buchanan, and seats about 10 individuals inside of and has a patio wherever 15 shoppers can seat in the warmer months.

Its several hours are fairly abbreviated, opening at 7:30 a.m. and closing at 1:30 p.m. Why? “Our room is genuinely modest and we really do not have more than enough area in the kitchen area to in good shape a prep sink or products to extend the menu to involve lunch and late treats. So, we emphasis on coffee and to-go food items breakfast alternatives,” Pruna explains.

Lots of Yelp customers were enthusiastic. One particular shopper from Southern California, checking out his daughter at the College of New Hampshire, wrote that his “Americano was pulled flawlessly with very hot drinking water to espresso balance with a attractive layer of crème on prime.”

But La Mulina could be expanding its footprint up coming yr. Its landlord is developing a much larger business internet site on its latest home and is earning readily available to acquire a 1,600 sq. feet spot for the coffee bar and 1,000 square ft for an adjoining roastery.

To finance getting the creating, Pruna would require to attain an SBA mortgage. Then he’d visualize a next place in Medellin, Colombia, and up coming could be close by Portsmouth or Miami.

In the future, Pruna envisions boosting his on the net revenue nationwide by using ramping up social media and advertising and marketing and raising its wholesale sales in Boston.

How does it endure winters in frosty New Hampshire?  “No make a difference if it is 90 levels or 20 levels underneath zero, our common prospects come by to see us for great espresso, to get out of their properties and for connecting with others,” he says.