In 2012, my wife and I were at a cross roads in our lives. Having just sold our family’s noodle business, we needed to make a decision on what to do next.

Though we were both trained and met working in race relations and community development, we knew that it would be too hard to return to our original careers. We also knew that whatever we did next, it would have to involve our faith, passions and community. This search led to a journey around the globe that culminated in Copa Vida.

For us, good coffee, tea and food are more than a product to sell. It is a platform and a context around which community can develop and flourish. Having been raised in an immigrant family, we knew what it was to not have a place to belong to… to be on the outside looking in. With Copa Vida, we wanted to create a place where everyone would feel like they had a place to come to.

In the beginning, we focused heavily on the development of our beverages and food. We brought on partners who were experts in the areas of coffee, tea and cuisine and we also started roasting our own beans and baking our own breads so that we could truly own the quality of our products. However, as we developed the Copa concept, the team realized that the product was only one of three critical components we would need in order to create that place for community. Service and design (ambience) also proved to be an important factor in what we valued and wanted to be known for. And after 7 years, we know that what we are and really want to be good at, is in designing experiences… We also learned that we couldn’t do that without you. Whether it’s with the way you interact with our team members or with the other customers or simply with your presence, you are a part of the community that helps make Copa Vida feel like Copa Vida.

So whether you are a fan of our coffee or our food, we hope that your time with our product and our cafes provides you with an amazing experience that goes beyond great customer service and into a great community.