Raimonds Zadvornovs and Gatis Zēmanis
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Kalve Coffee Roasters
Raimonds started Kalve Coffee Roasters in 2017. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Kalve Coffee Roasters?
My educational background is completely different from what I’m doing today - I used to be a translator and an English teacher. I started drinking coffee when I started my bachelor’s - and because I lived a true student lifestyle in dormitories, I and my roommate could only afford the cheapest coffee on the shelves. Not drinking coffee was not an option. Even back then I often thought - I see why people drink coffee, but I have no clue how someone can enjoy the taste of it.
Our coffee shop was supposed to be a sort of a “business card” and ended being much more than that, generating around 1,000-1,500 EUR in nothing more than 40 square meters, selling coffee and pastries.
It was until I went on a trip with my current wife. We had saved some money to enjoy ourselves, so for breakfast, we went to a coffee shop - nothing fancy, but quite hip at the time (around 2010). There I had my first cafe latte and it blew my mind, I remember it till this day, it was that coffee that set me on a mission - I forever want to drink coffee this good!
When we got back, I immediately spent the last of my money to order different samples of coffee, bought a coffee grinder, and even a small espresso machine. I got so caught up in coffee that it swallowed up my days. I knew I had reached a point where I need more information, so I turned to the company who sold me some barista accessories and asked them whether they have an available position. And they did. So I quit my studies and started working as a sales assistant in a large coffee service company. I was 21 years old when I changed my career path completely.
I worked there for 4 years - I had the amazing opportunity to work in one of the leading coffee companies at that time, to learn from industry professionals, travel around to learn different coffee cultures and enrich myself with all the know-how I could. At the end of my working days in the company, I was head of coffee quality. Then things turned around - I have gained more coffee know-how than my peers, but unfortunately, my ideas and suggestions were rarely implemented due to how the owners saw the company developing, and I had to find other means to continue my growth.
My current partner, Gatis, had left the same company earlier, and we occasionally met - he was in a similar position. That is when we decided to take matters into our own hands, and agreed to start KALVE - a company where we could fulfill our ambitions and introduce specialty coffee in the market in the way we saw it developing.
We invited our current brand manager, Jānis Andersons, along with us. We spent days, weeks, and months creating the brand and the idea until we came to a consensus and established KALVE in early 2017.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater