<p>&nbsp;Front (l to r): Bill Harris Sr. and Ann Harris of  Americus; Bill Harris Jr., Cafe Campesino CEO and founder; Angela  Westra, director of development, Americus Sumter County Chamber of  Commerce; Back: Nema Etheridge, Cafe Campesino marketing and sales  manager; Mary Ellen McClanahan, director, entrepreneur and small  business/project manager, metro, GDEcD; JoAnne Lewis, GEDA chair and  Eric van Otteran, entrepreneur special interest group chair with GEDA.</p>

 Front (l to r): Bill Harris Sr. and Ann Harris of Americus; Bill Harris Jr., Cafe Campesino CEO and founder; Angela Westra, director of development, Americus Sumter County Chamber of Commerce; Back: Nema Etheridge, Cafe Campesino marketing and sales manager; Mary Ellen McClanahan, director, entrepreneur and small business/project manager, metro, GDEcD; JoAnne Lewis, GEDA chair and Eric van Otteran, entrepreneur special interest group chair with GEDA.

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Café Campesino, an Americus-based fair trade, organic coffee company linked to small-scale farmer cooperatives in a dozen countries, received a “Small Business Rock Star” award from the Georgia Economic Developers Association and the Georgia Department of Economic Development Aug. 19.

The organizations hosted the first-time event at the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel to honor successful small businesses operating in Georgia.

Americus businessman Bill Harris launched the company in 1998 after traveling to Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity. In his acceptance remarks, Mr. Harris praised the farmers in the cooperatives from where the coffee is sourced as the driving force behind the business.

“We are a company that measures its success based on its relationship with the three Ps – profits, people and the planet,” he said to the more than 100 public officials and economic developers attending the luncheon, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle; Gretchen Corbin, the commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, and Mike Pennington, president of GEDA.

Countries from which the company sources its coffee include  Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru and Uganda.

Nema Etheridge, sales and marketing manager at Café Campesino, told Global Atlanta that the coffees from Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Indonesia are the company’s most popular single-origin, non-blended coffees.

Ms. Etheridge added that Café Campesino is collaborating with Emory University, the food service company Sodexo and the student-led Green Bean Coffee group to open a Green Bean Coffee Shop in Emory’s Cox Hall food court.

 The company also is planning four to six overseas trips for its customers who wish to be educated about its coffee supply chair and to meet with the local farmers.

For more information about Café Campesino, click here.

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