What’s the best way to support coffee producers? This is exactly the question Juan de Dios Castillo (the family’s agronomist) and his 4 siblings were looking to answer when they created J&M Family Coffee, a privately-owned export company named after their parents Juan and Miriam (J&M). Their first goal was to sell their parents’ coffee directly to international buyers. It was a way to honor their parents who started cultivating coffee during their childhood with the income from the first family business as tailors in the town of Jinotega. With this first goal completed, Juan de Dios Castillo decided to take the next step and start his own farm called El Pastoral, which has 150 acres of coffee production. During the harvest, the coffee cherries are carefully harvested, sorted and then depulped, fermented, washed and pre-dried at the farm. The partially dried coffee is taken to a nearby location where drying is completed and the coffee is stored and later prepared for export. This is a truly integrated model, in which J&M Family Coffee ensures quality control and traceability from farm to export. Royal has the distinguished honor of being the first importer to buy from J&M Family Coffee when they started operations in 2014.