Starting as a small coffee shop, El Union is a brainchild of a man who has grown tired of the Metro traffic and decided to move his family in La Union. He thought of supporting his family through the coffee shop. Several years later, he and his business partners will be supporting the country’s coffee industry through this coffee shop and its signature blends.
Lorenzo Cosio, the founder and managing partner of El Union, said that their coffee shop serves the best Philippine and international coffee. He added that it is through the coffee that the farmers and producers tell a story which is rooted in the narrative of the company.
Furthermore, he said that the local coffees are cultivated in a manner that conserves nature and provides work for the community.
El Union products are sourced from Bukidnon Gloria Estate. Occasionally, they also serve a rare heirloom variety of Arabica called Kalasan Sweet Coffee from Ephemera Traders. These coffee are from farmers coming from the Talaan-dig Kalatunganon tribe.
Cosio points out that quality local beans are usually more expensive than the imported ones. However, he believes that the country’s coffee production will increase as the demand is rising, as well.
His business partners are Silvester Samonte, a champion barista and a certified coffee bean grader, and Mia Sebastian, a hotelier. Both are business and marketing majors.
When El Union started, it only sells about 20 cups of coffee a day, selling at an average price of P85 per cup. Sales would increase at 50 cups on weekends.
Currently, a 16-ounce cup of El Union’s ‘Dirty White’ double espresso over iced milk sells at P140.
Furthermore, El Union also makes its products available wholesale, clients of which are the owners of small coffee shops.
In 2016, they joined as volunteers for a coffee agriculture training camp in the Cordilleras. After that gig, the owners of El Union has been invited to promote the Philippine coffee in Philippine Harvest program, the Madrid Fusion international food exposition in Manila, and at the ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show.
In the future, El Union will be expanding its roasting facilities and looking to broaden its wholesale market.