My husband Bob loathes January and February in beautiful Michigan.  I am content enough wintering in our hometown Rockford, Michigan; but, as I am rather ​​
Bob had done plenty of research concerning Costa Rica, particularly related to its significant medical tourism industry.  He read a good deal about Americans living in Costa Rica and developed a longing to visit.  He needed only for me to come to terms with the idea and agree to give Costa Rica a try.

On December 31, 2010, we exited the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica, to begin a new wintering adventure.  Bob was excited; whereas I was overly anxious.   I hate to fly and Costa Rica is so far away from our home in Michigan.  We were not experienced international travelers and did not speak any Spanish.  I remember thinking how in the world is it we are in Costa Rica.  Oh, right!  I was the one who ultimately gave the thumbs up.

January 1, 2011, we departed San Jose in our 4-wheel drive rental vehicle for the unofficial capital of southern Costa Rica, San Isidro, in the Valle del General.  This location is high in the Talamanca mountain range and boasts a great climate.  About 20 miles south of San Isidro, we exited the major highway Pan Am 2 onto a smaller paved road.  Our destination was San Pedro and one of its small barrios, Los Angeles.  Shortly, we left pavement and began trekking the infamous roads of Costa Rica, thereby justifying the need for 4-wheel drive.  This was the final leg of our journey toward our home for the next two months.

We bumped along, passing an assortment of typical Tico (Costa Rican) homes.  The dwellings are small, somewhat boxy and brightly colored, with wide open front doors into mostly small yards.  All the Tico homes seemingly come with dogs, chickens, smiling, waving adults and adorable children. 

Finally, we approached a large home nestled behind a gated iron fence surrounded by coffee plants.  We had reached our destination which was a lovely home with modern conveniences, plus a swimming pool.  It was a little slice of heaven that included a wonderful view of mountains not to mention coffee plants on all sides of the fence.  We had been informed about the coffee plants and that harvesting would be occurring during our stay.  

During the next 8 weeks we would become familiar with the sounds of coffee bean harvesting.  The workers began their labor as soon as the sun lit the day.  As we were awakening to a new day of enjoying Costa Rica, we listened to the rustle of the coffee plants and the quiet chatter of the workers.   Living in a house surrounded by coffee plants gave us our first introduction to Costa Rica’s coffee industry.  

Of course, we spent endless hours exploring Costa Rica and had a variety of adventures.   We also met some of the happiest, most gracious people we’ve known.  The Costa Ricans are hard working.  They live simply and seem quite content with their lives.  By the time the last day of our stay arrived, I was counting the days for our return to Costa Rica.   The locals sold me on Costa Rica and when we are not there, I miss them. 

During our visits in 2012 and 2013, we rented a bit farther south of San Isidro in an area named Santiago.  There, many homes are surrounded by coffee plants all the way to their front porches.   In fact, our new rental is owned by a young man,  Nathanael Yoder, who is an entrepreneur in the local community as well as San Isidro, much of his involvement is with coffee.  Indeed, Nat is responsible for lighting the spark that ignited the flame resulting in Church Grounds Coffee, LLC.


Through our friendship with Nathanael we learned about the Costa Rican coffee industry and the part he plays.  Nat resides in the foothills of the Chirripo Mountain and is a coffee grower alongside his Tico neighbors in Santiago.  It is this area’s main source of livelihood and they produce some of the finest Costa Rican coffee.   Maintaining these coffee farms is hard work.  The workers head out before daylight to care for the plants and toil many long hours in a tropical climate.  What we especially appreciate about the Costa Rican coffee offered by Church Grounds Coffee, LLC is that it sustains Costa Rican communities we know of personally.   The people of these communities are happy, hard working and live simply.   These are not Costa Rican coffee ranches boasting of great wealth.  These are coffee farms that are benefiting the Costa Rican communities that tend them.   

Nathanael then educated us further through discussions about traceability, sustainability, and the availability of state of the art roasting and processing of coffee.  Finally, we were encouraged to use the coffee marketplace as a pathway to establish a business for God’s Kingdom.  At this point in our life, we considered pursuing a business venture that dedicated a substantial portion of the profit after expenses to fund humanitarian causes.    Indeed, Nat and his associates are guided by   Romans 12 11- 13  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.  We considered those words as we developed a business plan with an ultimate goal to aid local and global humanitarian causes.

March, 2013, we returned from our winter escape in Costa Rica armed with a business idea we were eager to commence.  It was centered on selling packaged Costa Rican coffee which we would call CHURCH GROUNDS COFFEE, LLC.  We had a reliable source and appropriate contacts for bringing this dream to fruition.   We wanted to touch lives globally, fund humanitarian efforts, support Costa Rican communities, and make a difference in the world. 

As I write this, June, 2013, is a few weeks away and the launch of Church Grounds Coffee, LLC is a reality.  We begin this endeavor with friends Calvin and Sandra Murdock.  Together, we are working to bring Church Grounds Coffee, LLC to the forefront as a business intent on growing God’s Kingdom and inspiring others.  We offer this product with an assurance to the buyer that their purchase will have a global impact for the good of others.  A portion of the profit from each purchase will fund worthy humanitarian causes.  It is our intent to highlight these humanitarian programs via this website. 

With our first sales, Church Grounds Coffee, LLC will provide funding to bring safer water to third world, developing countries through the Hydraid® Bio-Sand Water Filtration Systems.  Presently our efforts are concentrated in the Dominican Republic with plans to expand to other nations.  To learn more about the Hydraid® Bio-Sand Water Filtration Systems go to http://www.hydraid.org/ .

And, now you know how it is that a retired Michigan couple seeking a warmer climate ended up with a business that is grounded in coffee with lots of perks.  (Oh, wow!  That was lame, wasn’t it?  I couldn’t resist.)

We invite you to review our product offerings and place your order.   AND, if your organization needs a great fundraiser, offering a product enjoyed by millions, please contact us.  We can customize a fundraising program for your organization.