Clarena's Coffee: A Belknap EDC Success Story
Clarena’s Coffee is a woman-owned, woman-grown specialty coffee business. Owner, Clarena McKinney, started her ecommerce coffee business this past April, and so far, her business has been a success. Clarena was born in one of the coffee regions of Colombia, the third largest coffee producer in the world, where her relatives were farmers.
“I have memories of the landscape of coffee trees ad cherries, pickers gathered in the morning, me walking barefoot in the coffee beds drying in the sun, jeeps carrying coffee on their rooftops, and, of course, the smell of coffee percolating on a wood stove, and I’m proud of that heritage,” Clarena said when asked what drove her to start her ecommerce coffee business.
In addition, Clarena said she has memories of socially disadvantaged women around her, and she wanted to support them. “I created a company to help women in agricultural areas where coffee is produced and where most female coffee growers don’t have many opportunities. It’s a for-profit business, but it’s also about helping and empowering these women and their communities. I’m proud to bring high-quality coffee from small, women-produced coffee farms worldwide.”
Clarena received a grant from Belknap EDC, which allowed her to develop her e-commerce website and produce her recyclable coffee bags. The Belknap EDC has recently partnered
with The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) to present New Hampshire’s Community Navigator Program, with a goal to help more small businesses like Clarena’s Coffee.
The Community Navigator Program is
designed to reduce barriers to accessing critical resources for small businesses—with a focus on microenterprises, cooperatives, and businesses in the early stages of development—owned by women, veterans, socially and economically disadvantaged, and underserved entrepreneurs. For more information visit the Community Navigator blog.
*Photo Caption: Left to Right: Clarena McKinney, Owner, Clarena's Coffee - Adam Farrell, Vice President Sales, Lakes Media - Justin Slattery, Executive Director, Belknap EDC