Creating a community and brand beyond the product

Davila Coffee

By Jewelle Saunders

Wrapping up this three-part series on entrepreneur David Dávila, the YLAI Network gains insight into how David establishes a community and brand for his coffee company showcasing the rich history of Haiti and Nicaragua. He highlights the talented producers and artists on the ground and engages with his customers through a variety of new and traditional platforms.

Building a passionate team

Beyond his business plan developed by working with an accelerator in the United States, David recognized the need to identify skilled and passionate individuals who could be a part of his coffee-production operation. He went out to the field and handpicked producers in Haiti and Nicaragua.

David worked to find individuals he trusted who had the necessary expertise and passion. Amid political and social unrest in Nicaragua, his team had to navigate around various challenges and find the best way to efficiently export coffee to the United States. David overcame these challenges by communicating as much as possible and having faith in his producers.

To best exemplify the passion and perseverance the producers put into their work, David expanded his organization and created a community and a brand that extends beyond the transaction. It is important to him to ensure all aspects of his organization reflect the sides of these two countries that not everyone has the chance to see.

Enhancing the customer experience

Wanting to best understand his customers, address their needs, and communicate with them in real time, Dávila Kafe has a variety of different ways to engage. These platforms aim to showcase the artistry highlighted through the coffee from the producers as well as through local artists.

“Culture affects every part of what you do, and the way you think is affected by how you’ve grown up,” David says. “I want my culture and how I’ve grown up to be reflected in my brand.” Dávila is his family name, and “kafe” is “coffee” in Haitian Creole. He highlights Haitian and Nicaraguan cultures by finding fellow entrepreneurs and local artists and exhibiting their artistry on his website, through designs on their coffee bags, or even through their Spotify playlists, which highlight music you might find in these countries if you were in a local café.

Their channels on Spotify and YouTube can provide a unique experience of the company brand beyond the transaction. On YouTube, David uploads videos showing the different methods someone can brew their coffee. David and Gaï also have a podcast “Kafe with David & Gaï” they upload to YouTube, to better connect with their community and tell their story. On their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and blog, they can expand on their coffee and the individuals involved in its production and engage with customers one on one.

For David, it is important to exchange cultures and to help his community understand how his company is built and know the artists and coffee experts on the ground who are passionate about their communities and about the product they are producing.

Make sure to read the rest of our series profiling David’s journey as an entrepreneur and his experiences working with an accelerator. After, take advantage of one of our online courses, Workforce Collaboration and Development, and learn how to help move your organization forward.