Entrepreneur’s Dream Story
This is a story of Juan and Naomi Meléndez, owners of the Hacienda Tres Angeles, in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.
While in Puerto Rico, as a guest speaker for AgriGold, a corn seed brand by AgReliant, I had the opportunity to visit the Meléndez’s Hacienda. We left Ponce in a small bus and climbed the mountains to get to the coffee farm. It was worth every minute of the exhilarating journey to get there, tour the farm, drink one of the best coffees in the world, and eat a great lunch along with plant ripened bananas. Hacienda Tres Angeles is the first Agro-tourism Certified farm by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. The farm is located in the town of Adjuntas, better known as the land of The Sleeping Giant. Its cool climate and high mountains is an ideal setting for producing one of the best coffees in the world. The farm has available green coffee of Single Origin Arabica/Caturra. The high standard for growing and producing coffee is the key in preserving and maintaining the quality of our beans from crop to cup.
The Hacienda Tres Angeles Tour represents the purest essence of the coffee tradition. Surrounded by 100 acres of premium coffee, the ranch offers visitors the true story that encloses a steaming cup of coffee. The tour lasted about 3 hours. The coffee tour started at the coffee field where we were be able to learn about coffee growing methods and practices, market economy, bean selection and history. At the end of the field tour, chased by a light cool rain, we arrived at the "Beneficiado" or Coffee Mill where we learned how the Meléndez process their coffee in the most modern ecological coffee mill in Puerto Rico. We were able to see the roasting process in the Coffee Shop and enjoy a delicious cup of Café. Along with the great coffee, Naomi served us cakes, and there we were enjoying life and observing the beautiful mountains in a wooden deck called the Visitors Center. We lived an unforgettable experience in a natural environment with the Juan and Naomi. We were thankful being able to live one of the most gratifying experiences in Puerto Rico! To know more about their operation, please visit www.haciendatresangeles.com
1. Dreams do become reality. Naomi had a dream of living in a farm in Puerto Rico. Naomi is descendent of Puerto Ricans and born in Manhattan, New York. She worked as a phlebotomist in New York. Juan is a Purto Rican Mechanical Engineer. Naomi was introduced to Juan by a friend. She smiles when she says she got a bargain in Juan. They are now married with three girls and living their dream in a coffee farm at the heartland, the high mountains of Puerto Rico. They chased their dream of owning and operating a coffee farm. Now they are living their dream.
2. You’ve got to be crazy. Imagine knowing nothing about coffee and telling your friends you are moving from New York to Puerto Rico to run a coffee farm. Are you crazy? That is what most entrepreneurs hear when they tell others what they are about to embark on. In a short two years, with help from many, including the Puerto Rican Government, Juan and Naomi took the crazy journey to make their dream become reality. Being in their presence, listen to their story, and learn about their journey is an entrepreneur’s moment of inspiration.
3. Attitude of gratitude. Juan started his explanations saying, what you see here is a gift from God. We have all heard that faith can move mountains. The Meléndez faith and attitude of gratitude became a blessing for the couple, their three girls, their angels that gave the name to the Hacienda, and all those who visit their farm.
4. Chasing the dream. Imagine the obstacles they had to overcome to get to where they are today. One can see in the demeanor the love they display for who they are and what they do. Their attention to detail and serve the visitors is something every human being should experience. They bought the run down farm about two years ago and today give full employment for 15 people and part time to another 80 during the harvest season that starts in August. Little by little they are improving their operation.
5. A business attached to a purpose. The Meléndez’s business was attached to their purpose of earning a living so they could raise their three angels on a farm. Naomi drives the girls to schools, taking her 40 minutes to cut through the mountains of Puerto Rico, to the coastal town of Ponce.
6. Succeeding at something that matters. Ideas have consequences and dreams are real. Juan an Naomi chose to chase a dream that matters a great deal; a dream that matters to them, their three girls, their employees, and all those blessed by their giving hearts. Juan and Naomi are not just in the coffee business, they are in the education business, educating others about living a life of service and education to others.
7. Giving it back to the world one coffee bean at a time. The Meléndez couple is an example of the entrepreneurial spirit that runs through the veins of great entrepreneurs. Their enthusiasm is contagious. The love they display is something we all can benefit from. Leadership is influence in a positive direction. Juan and Naomi are already influencing many people around the world.
Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets. Share them with others.
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.
Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy