When Gerry Caputo and his wife started Mariposa Coffee Company in the fall of 1991, they had just moved their family from the Bay Area to the rural mountain community of Mariposa near Yosemite National Park. “I wanted to do something in this small community that nobody else was doing,” recounts Gerry, “I decided to look into what Yosemite Park needed, and I found Yosemite National Park bought and sold over 170,000 pounds of coffee.”
“It wasn’t an easy start,” Gerry says. They pieced together a roaster – that they affectionately call the “Frankenroaster” (“since it kinda looks like the Frankenstein monster”) – and began the long process of learning to roast the perfect batch of coffee. They knew they wanted to capture the health benefits of coffee and showcase its plentiful flavor offerings, without distorting the brew with bitterness. “Before YouTube and Siri, we learned from encyclopedias and trial and error,” Gerry says. Eventually, following lots of hard work, ingenuity, and good old-fashioned perseverance, they created the revolutionary process they use today.
A true family operation, Gerry, his wife, and children all have a hand in the business as it stands today. “It’s gonna go into the future with the family still running it.” Customers can find Mariposa Coffee Company’s high-quality and affordable coffee, mugs, and more at their brick and mortar store located on the historic 49er Trading Post and on their web store powered by WooCommerce. They also sell their products wholesale. “You need to have multidimensional channels and opportunities to run a business in this climate,” Gerry notes.
The local community serves as an inspiration to Mariposa Coffee Company. “They’re proud of having a coffee roasting business in their small community,” Gerry beams, “And I’m proud to represent them.”