Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Prentice, Founder of Gento Coffee, located in Guatemala.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We sell high-quality specialty coffee, freshly roasted in the country of origin, Guatemala and ship directly worldwide. Our customers are all coffee lovers around the world, restaurants, and cafés looking for a true farm-to-cup experience.

Tell us about yourself

I am a third-generation coffee producer. I have been surrounded by coffee since my childhood. As I started working in the coffee industry, I realized the inequity in the coffee trade systems and how the industry is based on an antiquated trading model, a volatile market, and depends on many middlemen to move the coffee, leaving farmers with most of the risk and the least of the profits. For this reason, Gento is revolutionizing inefficient value chains by providing the world with direct access to the best coffee produced 100% at its origin. By eliminating middlemen and roasting our coffees in the country where they are grown, we promote farmer-roasted coffees. All of our coffee is grown, freshly roasted to order, and packaged in Guatemala. This allows us to generate more value in-country to create a more equitable coffee experience and pay farmers beyond fair trade prices.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being able to work with small producers and have a positive impact in coffee communities in Guatemala, where there is so much need, through our education programs and better incomes.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As an entrepreneur, one has to wear many hats. The most challenging about leading a business is always being constant and a good leader and communicator, even when you are having a bad day. As a new mom of a 10-month baby, I find myself struggling some days to be a good leader or transmit motivation to the team when I am exhausted. The most important thing is to have a team that complements our weaknesses and can give continuous support.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Know your numbers.
  2. Always look to innovate and think outside the box.
  3. Build a great team and know how to delegate.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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