This week, we’re highlighting Fulcrum Coffee and Head Roaster and Senior Vice President Blas Alfaro. Blas is a fifth-generation Costa Rican coffee farmer who puts a great deal of care into each cup of Fulcrum coffee — from the intentional use of hybrid coffee to his relationships with coffee farmers who give back to their communities. Get to know Blas as he chats with Intentionalist about why we need to #SpendLikeItMatters, Fulcrum’s newest cold brew creation that’s 10 years in the making, and some of the local businesses on his InTENtional List.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
Supporting a small business is supporting a dream. All of our customers are small businesses, and over 50 of them have closed from COVID-19. And it’s really hard to see that. If there’s any time that’s more important to spend like it matters, now is the time. A lot of people right now are struggling to sustain their business and to move forward, and from our side, we will try our best to support those businesses.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
One of them just came out, and it’s our canned cold brew. It’s been over 10 years of trial and error with cold brew. I would say this is the craziest and coolest because it finally came out, and when you read the ingredients, the first is Costa Rican coffee produced by three sisters in Tarrazú, and they’re taking over the farm for their dad. It’s not only great coffee, but also from a minority in a society that is mainly driven by men. I think this is a great product, not only because it tastes good and is beautiful, but also because of what’s inside.
Who is on your InTENtional List right now?
Just off the top of my head — Fuji Bakery, which is owned by a woman originally from Taiwan. She is wonderful, and she’s working really hard to not only sustain her family, but also the group of people who work for her. Chera and Geo from Hood Famous support their community big time and are very proud being Filipino. Luis and Leona at The Station are unbelievable leaders in the community and great parents. Bridgette from Central Cafe and Juice Bar is wonderful and I love to visit her because I can walk in and see her smiling and laugh. Preserve and Gather which is also owned by two women, and every time you walk in it smells so good. The list goes on, and I could go on a while [he laughs].