In 2011 Colombian, Alejandro Roa first met Charlotte Read a New Zealander, when she was promoting Villa Maria's wines at a store in Shanghai. Their first conversations were about cooking and enjoying great food, and this strong interest in food has continued after their marriage and the subsequent years they lived in Shanghai, Beijing and now resident in Auckland.
When Alejandro was working in the role as Commercial Counsellor at the Colombian Embassy in Beijing, he made many contacts with Latin American food and beverage exporters to China, particularly in the coffee sector. Alejandro built strong contacts with the leading South American coffee brand Juan Valdez; and continued this relationship when moving with his family to his new home in New Zealand in 2018.
Such was Alejandro’s passion for the Juan Valdez coffee brand, Charlotte and Alejandro established a distribution company in New Zealand with a goal to develop the brand across Oceania. Alejandro chose Juan Valdez not only for the quality, but because it’s the brand that belongs to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation and all coffee sold will benefit growers’ families. Juan Valdez is a certified B Corp company, chosen for their social programmes, care for the environment and positive impacts on grower communities.
Charlotte spent twenty years offshore, mostly promoting NZ food and beverages, and is well poised to support Alejandro's passion, to bring to New Zealand consumers, coffee from one of the world’s best-known- premium coffee growing regions. Juan Valdez is very excited about expanding their brand presence and taste profile in this part of the world.