Coffee Business Takes Root in Cherokee County
Nestled at what could be considered the midpoint between Woodstock and Canton is Alma Coffee. “Alma,” in Spanish, translates to “soul.” That’s what is at the center of Alma Coffee.
Behind every bag of coffee beans, every roast, every drink, every in-house syrup, is soul. Along with its farm-to-cup philosophy, the soul behind Alma is what sets it apart. Co-owner Leticia Hutchins is a fifth-generation coffee farmer and runs the Holly Springs-based cafe, roastery, e-commerce business and wholesale division with her husband, Harry, while her father, Al Lopez, a service-disabled Army veteran, oversees their family coffee farms in Honduras.
From the start, direct trade has been a leading motivator in Alma’s story. This vertical integration of working directly with its family farms is what makes Alma unique. Vertical integration means coffee from the family farms never leaves the family’s care; family members are responsible for every step of the process, from planting, nurturing and harvesting to wet processing, dry milling, exporting, importing and, finally, warehousing, roasting, grinding and even brewing! It is a rare treat to find a genuine farm-to-cup experience like the one at Alma Coffee.
To expand its coffee offerings and support fellow farmers, Alma also purchases coffee beans directly from other farms — a process referred to as “Alma-doption.” Alma buys the entire crop from the farm, brings the coffee beans back to the roastery, and roasts them for purchase. That’s as “direct trade” as you’ll ever get.
In the four years since Alma Coffee opened its doors, a lot has changed. What was once just a roastery now also houses a full-scale coffee shop that’s open seven days a week. The family has added a second, larger Loring roaster, making Alma the only roastery in the state of Georgia to own two Lorings. This also allows Alma to keep its promise of coffee roasted fresh daily to order. In 2022, Alma was voted Best Coffee Shop in the Around Canton Readers’ Choice contest, proving that there is a need and desire for ethically sourced, high-quality coffee right here in Cherokee County — and Harry and Leticia are just getting started!
As high school sweethearts in Cherokee County, they wanted to lay down roots in their beloved community. The moment you walk into Alma, you’re met with the aroma of fresh coffee, the sound of the roasters purring, and smiles on customers’ and employees’ faces. As you peruse the menu, you’ll find more than 19 different roast offerings that you can watch being freshly bagged by the fulfillment team. A glance at the drink options reveals all the coffee classics, plus the in-house syrups developed by the Alma baristas to complement the coffee.
The Alma team constantly is making upgrades to the cafe and adding new roasts to the menu, to keep things exciting and fresh. To stay in the know, follow the team on social media
(@myalmacoffee) and subscribe to the email list. They’re always posting goofy TikToks and incredibly entertaining YouTube videos. Following and watching their content is a great way to get to know the team and support the business. If you’re more of a reader, every Sunday they send out The Weekly Drip email to provide you with a rundown of the previous week’s happenings.
The Alma Coffee team takes pride in its transparency. They invite you to pull up a seat at the cafe’s 40-foot bar to watch as they roast coffee. Let them show you what it means to roast coffee with soul. The proof is in the beans.
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