A grassroots story, founder William Gutierrez, a native of Nicaragua was trading agricultural products from Nicaragua such as sesame seeds with great success. Simultaneously, Nicaragua which had earlier been facing US embargos, was selling their best coffee in Europe. With the birth of the specialty coffee movement in the early 1990’s William and his restaurateur wife Jodi Lehr took this on twofold: William became one of the first importers of Nicaraguan coffee to the US and they found a unique niche as they introduced Santa Lucia Estate Coffee to restuarants in the hospitality setting. Inferior coffee was the norm and the need to improve quality was overwhelming.            

  Hyper local and one of Washington, D.C.’s original specialty coffee companies, Santa Lucia is a true family business. Jodi eventually joined William in partnership and over the years their sons Robert and Marco avoided summer camp and worked with them learning about beans, business, and customer service. It’s hard to forget them out on the street personally delivering coffee at age 4 (as we still do today). Fast forward and our sons have joined the business, and Santa Lucia remains a boutique company selling coffee to restaurants, hotels, and caterers while proudly tied to its original vision: local, passionate, and hands on.


2020 and the pandemic brought new challenges and opportunities to Santa Lucia. The new normal forced Santa Lucia to join the e-commerce world as they brought their coffee directly to the homes of restaurant patrons and families. Now families can enjoy premium coffee together in their own homes, just like our own Gutierrez family does.