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Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023

Influential Family-Owned Businesses in Los Angeles: F. Gaviña & Sons: Los Angeles’ Own Coffee Roaster

For the Gaviña family, coffee might quite literally run through their veins. The fourth generation coffee family behind the Don Francisco’s Coffee brand has a legacy to uphold that dates back almost 150 years to the rich coffee- bearing soil of Cuba, where patriarch Don Francisco Gaviña honed his skills as a coffee producer. In 1967, he established F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. in Los Angeles, and today, the third and fourth generation honor his name and coffee tradition right out of their state-of-the-art, 240,000 sq. ft. roasting plant in Vernon.

F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. – L.A.’s own coffee roaster – has grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the largest family-owned coffee companies in the United States and the nation’s largest privately held minority roaster. Aside from making its iconic premium brand Don Francisco’s Coffee, it also makes: Gaviña Gourmet Coffee, Jose’s Gourmet Coffee, and Cafe La Llave Espresso. And last year, to coincide with their 50th anniversary, the company opened Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana, their first ever flagship café in DTLA’s historic Spring Arcade building.

“For us, Don Francisco’s Coffee Casa Cubana is an extension of the Don Francisco’s brand and of our home, and it also provides a more direct way for our family to interact with consumers and share coffee drinks and dishes inspired by our Cuban/Spanish roots,” said Lisette Gaviña Lopez, Sr. Marketing Director for F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. “As proud Angelenos, DTLA was our first and only choice for the café because we knew we’d be not only be growing the local economy, but also contributing to the revitalization of DTLA.”

In fact, the Gaviña family is very committed to all the communities where they work, live, and source from. They support over 300 local and regional charities and are particularly proud of their corporate sustainability efforts, which are organized under the company’s Direct Impact Initiative. The initiative focuses on six core areas to continually improve operational efficiencies and minimize the environmental impact of the business: Energy, water, waste, transportation, pollution prevention, and climate protection. The program achieved 100% zero waste to landfill last year.

“We want people to feel good about drinking our coffee, not only because it tastes good, but also because it does good, and that commitment influences every business decision we make,” said Michael Gaviña, the company’s Director of Procurement. “Respecting people and giving back to the community is a cornerstone of our family tradition, and preserving natural resources and our environment for future generations of our family and yours is a top priority.”

While their focus has shifted over the years from growers to roasters and wholesale distribution, for the Gaviña’s the end goal has remained the same: creating a great cup of coffee. And on any given day, you will see Francisco’s sons, Paco, Pedro and José, and his daughter, Leonor Gaviña-Valls, along with many of their children, personally involved in every step of the process – from sourcing and selecting the finest 100% Arabica beans, cupping samples as they arrive, to overseeing the roasting and production, and even using multiple Q Graders (akin to wine sommeliers but for coffee) to ensure the consistent quality of their coffee.

“It’s rare to find a company today that’s managed by people born and raised in an artful profession, who remain as passionate as ever about their product. We are fortunate that our family and our brand have stood the test of time, but the story is far from over,” said Leonor Gaviña- Valls, Vice President of Marketing for F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. “We look forward to our children and future generations of Gaviñas making us just as proud by continuing the tradition begun by my father many decades ago.

Learn more about F. Gavina & Sons at gavina.com

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