What's our story?
Diego Rodriquez, our Master Roaster, was born in T'HO, Mexico; The Crossroads of Maya history. Today people know this city as Merida, Mexico. He spent his childhood working on cocoa farms while his mother and grandmother fermented and roasted all day in the kitchen. Diego often reminisces about the taste of his grandmother's chocolate straight off the wooden spoon. "There is no better taste", he says. His mother and grandmother taught him the process of roasting cocoa beans, which he soon learned, was very similar to the process of roasting coffee beans.
When he was 22 he moved to San Francisco in hopes of opening chocolate shop, but his plan took a pleasant turn when he met the specialty-coffee living legend, Erna Knutsen (left picture below), who introduced him to the magnificent wonders of the coffee industry. Soon after his experience with Erna he was introduced to Alfred Peet (middle picture below), owner of Peet’s Coffee. Peet adored Diego and took him under his wing. Diego mentions many times how they were very close friends until the day he passed. Peet even left Diego a gift with a note and at the end it said: "Diego, you really are a great coffee man”.
After his experiences with these two legendary coffee connoisseurs, Erna Knutsen and Alfred Peet, Diego met an iconic leader in the hospitality industry, Larry Mindel. Mindel is the founder of legendary restaurants such as Ciao and Prego, and well known in the Bay Area's dining scene. Since their meeting, Diego and Mindel have remained friends for over a decade. Throughout their friendship, Mindel has taught Diego that there is no service worth offering other than first class service, and that success will never come unless passion is led with confidence.
These three people, Erna Knutsen, Alfred Peet and Larry Mindel, are nothing shy of a miracle for Diego; with their support and willingness to share their knowledge, he was able to host his own cuppings, open coffee shops through out the bay, become a professional roaster, and then finally a master roaster. Everything Diego does is with love, passion, and hard work, which he says he owes to the people who taught him.
Then, in 2017, Diego met another person who influenced his life, Patricia Acheson. Patricia worked full time in the tech industry, while picking up shifts at Crown and Acre, a high-end bar in the Financial District, where Diego supplied his specialty coffee. Patricia and Diego developed a friendship while discussing coffee, life lessons and their interest in business ventures. Although 20 years stand between them, they found themselves having very similar visions. Diego proposed a business plan to Patricia and only months later, T’HO Commmodities was up and running with Patricia as CEO. She has now expanded the business to Chicago, IL to spend time with her family and open there first ever, Cafe T’HO.
WHAT'S OUR MISSION and vision?
Mission: To promote the importance of treating coffee like wine.
Vision: To start a movement that promotes education and positive change by creating products that make life more enjoyable while keeping the environment clean.
How do we give back?
Yes, we have a passion for high quality coffee, but that's not all that defines T'HO. Every day that you wake up and put your feet on the floor, we believe an opportunity for positive change awaits us all. T'HO wants to be a part of helping people make that change, and we decided to start our movement with coffee. We chose coffee as our first product, not only because Diego is a professional coffee connoisseur, but also because 83% of the adults in this world start their day with a cup of coffee. And when you open a bag of T'HO Coffee every morning, you will find "T'HO ENCOURAGEMENTS"; a motivational card that promotes a positive change in all aspects of life. We plan to encourage this change within offices, cafes, homes, stadiums, restaurants, and all other venues.
T'HO is keen on paying it forward. We promote a clean environment by using 100% biodegradable bags and reusable coffee tins. We promote a clean mind by donating time and funds to Mental Health Awareness throughout the world. Learn more on our "Giving Back" page.