Creating a Legacy | Son Joins BossMan on Trip to Origin

By Mike McKim

Over the years my career in the coffee industry has provided me with countless memorable experiences but none as memorable as this.

Last week marks the first time ever that my 17 year old son, Connor, joined me on a sourcing trip. We went to Brazil to spend time with our grower/partner, Wagner Ferrero (who produces our Fazenda Pantano) in Patos De Minas. We also spent time in Sul de Minas looking for some new potential partnerships.

Brazil is a pretty huge country and there is a substantial amount of real estate between growing regions. I warned Connor that the travel time would be pretty intense, but he assured me that he was up to the challenge. And up to the challenge he was! In a span of 7 days we took a total of 6 flights and logged more windshield hours than I care to remember. But when it was all said and done and we sat on that 6th and final flight back to Austin, we talked about his experience. I was surprised at what he said, so I asked if he’d write it up so I could share it. Here is what he wrote while we were still on the plane.

"I've worked as a barista and I've been around the roastery my whole life. But this was my first experience with the production side of coffee. Seeing the difference between the expansive and technologically advanced farms in the flatlands of Cerrado to the small, mountainous farms in Sul de Minas where all the picking was done by hand, has helped me learn a lot more about coffee. And I learned a ton by cupping different coffees with professional q-graders from the regions. I also got to meet the growers and see firsthand how my dad has formed meaningful relationships with them. Seeing how much he cares about them and how much they care about him is truly inspiring. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I can't wait to tell my friends about when I get home."

Connor has grown up with coffee. He's always been around it. And while this trip was more about spending time together than trying to lure him into a career in the coffee industry (I want him to choose his own path and chase his own dreams), I will admit that I got a warm feeling when out of the blue he said, "being a coffee buyer seems like it would be pretty cool."

I have to agree that being a coffee buyer is pretty cool. But it can't compare to sharing an experience like this with your son. That is beyond cool!

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