Chicago native Alberto Boleres imagined opening a café when he experienced the camaraderie at a local coffee shop near his military post while serving in Iraq. He returned to the U.S. as a Purple Heart veteran with a fierce determination to start his own business.
He traveled to Guatemala, his father’s home country, to learn the coffee business literally from the ground up. Two years later he opened what was then called Boleres Coffee to provide wholesale high-quality beans to restaurants, companies and hotels. While his business plan positioned him for success, he lacked the funds to procure his Guatemalan coffee beans.
After being denied a traditional bank loan, he applied for and received a loan from Accion through Brewing the American Dream. Alberto was able to solidify his goals and receive valuable marketing advice through counseling received at our Speed Coaching events in Chicago and through our Ad-Hoc Mentoring program. Alberto recently re-branded as 606 Coffee Roasters and continues to sell his coffee to restaurants, cafes, hotels, country clubs, and bed & breakfasts across the country while running a robust online business.
Alberto likens coffee to beer for its social quality and the way it brings people together in informal communities, its history and culture.