A Latino Entrepreneur Imports Coffee from Colombia to Anchorage by sdmn
Christian Montaña is a Latino entrepreneur living in Anchorage. He is determined to introduce coffee from his country, Colombia, to businesses and homes in this city and throughout Alaska. He has created a marketing company in Alaska, Oza Global, and works with the Colombian marketing company Prinsa SAS (Sociedad de Acciones Simplificadas), which is owned by Jorge Montaña, his father, some 8,800 kilometers away.
Jorge Montaña’s Colombian trading company has almost 20 years of experience. Christian’s Alaskan company has only two. “I incorporated it here in March 2020, at the height of the Covid explosion,” he says. “Last year we did a pilot test, bringing a sack of coffee from Colombia. It was a success, and we started exporting more. The next thing was to bring 600 kilos of coffee to Anchorage, which sold fast.”
Christian has been a Hispanic entrepreneur since he arrived in the United States. “This country offers more facilities and help than my country to start a business,” he says. “You just need to know the sector in which you want to move, identify opportunities, make a realistic assessment of the chances of success of your idea, without getting carried away by desires and illusions, and get trained and informed in the institutions that the United States has to advise and help the entrepreneur.”
Christian was assisted and mentored by, among others, the Small Business Administration (SBA) of Alaska. It provided him with the necessary advice. “Latinos in the United States are very entrepreneurial,” he says. “But to Latinos who come here to start a business, I would tell them the following: you have to network, go to networking events, take note of the advice of those who have started before you and be humble, so you learn from their experience. With your business idea clear, with advice, and with effort and a lot of perseverance, you can make your project a reality.”
In his opinion, “Hispanics and Asians are the most entrepreneurial ethnic groups in the United States. I chose to start a business in Anchorage because I like the whole state of Alaska and because the people here have a very strong sense of community; they are people who live in contact with nature and have an admirable culture that you don’t find anywhere else.”
In Christian’s case, the project is to bring coffee from Colombia to Alaska. “We transport it by plane in micro-lots, bringing it to Alaska thanks to all my efforts. It takes us six to eight days to ship the coffee from Colombia to Anchorage. It is more expensive to fly it than to ship it. But the demand in Alaska does not allow us this option,” explains Jorge Montaña from Colombia. Jorge and Christian’s coffee suppliers produce some 17,500 kilos per month. They plan to “take it to the native communities so that they can open their own businesses with our coffee. We will help them do that,” Christian explains. In addition to the native populations, they want to serve Colombian coffee to the hotel and catering industry and to private consumers. An e-commerce store is in the works.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska