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Our Story

Finca /fiNGka/, in Central America, is Spanish for farm, and that's where it all begins - on the coffee farms of El Salvador. Grown from seedlings in the rich volcanic soil, caressed by the misty winds of the Pacific Ocean, and nurtured by the caring hands of Salvadorans, we purchase these coffees directly from the farmers. We pay above fair trade prices and roast them in El Salvador with our world renowned partners, 4 Monkeys Coffee Roasters, and then air ship the coffee to Madison within days.  We think you'll taste the difference in your cup.

Marleni Valle grew up in a small town in El Salvador, and as the owner of Finca, she's dedicated to brining a bit of her warm culture and unique food to Wisconsin. Fresh Salvadoran sweet quesadillas are made daily along with Pupusas, a stuffed tortilla, grilled on a flat top, and served with a slightly spicy coleslaw and tomato sauce. Latin favorites tacos and burritos are also found at lunch, and house-made waffles begin at breakfast.

Silas Valle, Marleni's husband, comes from the same Salvadoran town. He's a graduate of both UW-Richland and UW-Platteville, and that's where he met Finca General Manager, Todd Allbaugh, who was the best man in their wedding and whose passion is driven by a visit to a Salvadoran coffee farm, Finca Santa Leticia, in 2002.  Finca Head Barista, Miguel Vega, was trained by 2011 World Barista Champion and 4 Monkeys Coffee Co-Founder Alejandro Mendez and 2012 Salvadoran Barista Champion and 4 Monkeys Coffee Co-Founder Daniel Mendez.

So you see, our team is made up of family and friends.  Our story begins on a finca, and there's always room for one more - you, at our table. Bienvenida and welcome.

Our Location
Address

2500 Rimrock Rd

Madison, WI 53713

(608) 285-9230

Hours

Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday               7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunday                  closed

 

What's up with our Coffee?

Genuine. Coffee. Seed to Cup.

It's not a slogan; it's a standard we hold ourselves to, and it's what sets us apart.

At Finca, we're fortunate to have the opportunity to practice Direct Relationship coffee; purchasing our coffee directly from the farmers, without a middle person buyer, and being able to collaborate with them in the field. It allows us to know, directly,  the growing practices, worker conditions, and quality of the cup.

There're many kinds of certifications in the coffee world, and they're good places to begin. But they can be both confusing for consumers, and the costs to obtain the certifications can be out of reach for many smaller farms.

One of the best explanations of Direct Relationship coffee we've found was written by Steven Macatonia, co-director of Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, and published in The Guardian in 2013:

"While fair trade promotes 'protection' of farmers, direct trade offers 'aspiration'. The fixed price a farmer receives from Fairtrade will not be affected by the quality produced, so farmers are not incentivised to take on the extra labour and input costs needed to grow a better crop. Quality-centric direct trade, however, allows for bespoke pricing agreements and collaboration in the field. A farmer that may be based in a region with outstanding climatic and topographical attributes for producing coffee, could, through a direct trading approach, become enabled to grow a greatly superior crop, and earn more money as a result...The overall objective of direct trade is to eliminate the power imbalances that exist in traditional supply chains.

Above all, buyer and producer work together long-term, to produce a high quality coffee, and the farmer is paid a price linked to the quality of their crop. Just as no business would brag it pays minimum wage – so should any industry reliant on commodities be striving to pay their producers in the developing world above minimum requirements, to incentivise innovation, and improvements in quality. It can only result in a better wage for the farmer and a better coffee for consumers at home."

How do we accomplish this?  It's both through our own visits to El Salvador throughout the year, and with our roasting partners and friends 4 Monkeys Coffee Roasters in El Salvador.  Above all, it's our direct relationship and friendships with our farmers like Raul Rivera of Santa Rosa Coffee (the photo to the left), the 2019 El Salvador Cup of Excellence 1st place winner, and Monica, Ricardo and Patricia Valdivieso of Finca Santa Leticia, a 2019 El Salvador Cup of Excellence Top 25 winner.

The farmers, the laborers, the roasters; they're the ones who do all the work, and then the coffee comes to us.  As another Salvadoran friend in coffee is fond of saying, "We just try not to mess it up."  It's our honor to present these fine coffees for your enjoyment.

 

What's the Deal with Our Logo?

Yep, It's a Bird - The Torogoz

Specifically, it's the Turquoise-browed Motmot; the national bird of El Salvador, but Salvadorans refer to it as the Torogoz.

So, what's the connection to coffee? Thank you so very much for asking.  

It turns out some of the best habitat for the Torogoz is environmentally friendly coffee farms.  They love to chill at the forest's edge and on high wires running along the roads, and they nest in earth outcroppings or in rocky water wells.  So if a coffee farm is practicing earth-friendly techniques, chances are you're gonna see a Torogoz.

And by the way, did you know that Salvadoran coffee farms are home to approximately 160 different species of migratory birds?  Pretty dope, huh?

Oh, and the Torogoz is a truly rare bird because both the male AND female have the colorful blue tail feathers.  We like the equality.  And those cool feathers happen naturally.  Some of the tail feathers fall away to leave the unique paddles at the tip.

We chose it because it symbolizes doing coffee correctly by respecting the earth and acknowledging we're all connected.

 

 
 
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