Coffee for Jola Czerminska and Agata Pudelek, co-founders of 88 Graines, became an element of focus and appreciation. It reconnected them as well as connected them to their coffee partners and coffee origin countries. It offered a wide diversity of cultures, experiences, people and off course coffee.
Their initial connection occurred over twenty years ago in a local Polish high school. They were only 16 years old when they met and their life adventures were about to start.
Right after high school their paths parted. Jola left for United States and Agata started her studies in Paris.
They let their life happen and be. Although very different and very rich in experience for both they found themselves in similar life stages twenty years later.
Life has a funny way to lead your path in the right direction. No matter how good or challenging the experiences. Life will always prepare you for what you truly decide and desire.
“Sometimes you meet people for a moment, sometimes for a lifetime and sometimes you meet people to reconnect with them many years later.”
For both, Agata and Jola twenty years of life experience allowed them to grow and discover their true desires. Driven by completely different elements of inspiration they both came to a point in life where their values and integrity became their priority.
Agata’s both professional and personal life experience circled around corporate world. From working in investment funds to developing high-end Pierre Herme brand, Agata gained a wide international understanding of business, people and diverse consumer cultures. Her fascination and curiosity always focused on entrepreneurial business and her aim was to one day start her own business adventure. Her goal was to work with people for people.
That time became just right after she decided to close one big door and open even bigger. After ending her 8 year experience with Pierre Herme she was ready to stand the ground and focus on her why? rather than what? She decided to go on a traveling tour around the world to explore, observe and feel inspired.
During her train journey on mythic train California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco, she noticed one particular thing. Every person surrounding her on this train were holding a cup of coffee. She realised in that moment that no matter from which country or culture you come from, coffee is a perfect beverage that allows connection, communication and possibility to bring people closer to one another.
Making a connection.
With that thought she felt instantly connected to the idea of coffee and the fact that we are all connected. Minutes later she randomly or not, came across a social media post from a person that she once knew. A familiar face that she hasn’t been connected to for many many years, her high school friend, Jola. Jola posted a photo from Bolivia with a short description #workingwithcoffee. Agata knew this was no coincidence. Somehow all stars aligned and delivered all these dots for her to connect. Meanwhile in Bolivia, Jola was trying to figure out, well, coffee. Her story took her around the globe and taught her a great deal of lessons. She bumped into coffee in 2012, during the transitional stage of her life. She connected with coffee in Australia where coffee culture has both high standards and expectations.
Coffee became fascination for her and soon enough she discovered that there are many pathways to follow in the coffee industry. She spent five years learning about origins, end product and consumer side of things. She was convinced though that one day she will be traveling with coffee and she was consistently pushing towards that goal.
Taking a chance.
In 2017 somehow all doors in Australia began to close on her so she decided to let it close and build a new, wider one. She simplified her life and packed it into one bag which made her very light to fly.
An unexpected offer landed in her lap to work as a coffee wet mill manager in Bolivia. She had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Bolivia has given her a new perception and perspective on the coffee industry and the reality and true challenges of coffee production. She also gained a wider understanding of who she was and what she desired for not only her future but the future of the coffee and people involved in its production.
Feeling the desire for a change and challenge, she got an unexpected phone call from an old high school friend, Agata. In less than a month after their reconnection they were drinking coffee in Bolivia. Planning changes for the future of coffee, through their establishment of 88 Graines. Their united desire is to learn, connect and support coffee communities and people involved in the coffee production. They believe that thru connecting with people and working together we can achieve balanced and sustainable chain of coffee production.
They desire to work with people for people.