In 2010, Brandon and Hannah Weidman were invited to go on a mission trip to a poor, rural community in Nicaragua that seemed to have incomprehensible challenges and needs. On that trip, the Weidmans were struck by the friendliness, the industrious spirit, and the deeply spiritual nature of the Nicaraguan people. By the end of a week in-country, they found themselves wondering which culture was truly “in need”. As Nicaragua slowly crept it’s way into their hearts, the Weidmans decided to take every chance possible to go visit their new friends. In 2012, the opportunity arose to join a global non-profit called International Teams (iteams.us) and pioneer the work of ITeams into the community of Masatepe.
The Weidmans sold all of their possessions, said goodbye to a comfortable lifestyle in the suburbs of Indianapolis, and embarked on a life-changing journey of life abroad. New surroundings, new friends, a new language and new opportunities. Upon settling into Masatepe, Hannah took on a teaching role in a local school and quickly became known in the community as Profesora Hannah. Brandon, as the director of ITeams Nicaragua, was struggling to gain traction in building relationships and gaining a deeper understanding of the community. Seeing the impact that Hannah’s teaching gig had on connecting her into society, Brandon decided to fall back on his business background and launch a small business that would help immerse him into the community in a similar fashion.
With the input of a number of locals, Brandon decided to launch a coffee shop that would serve up the local beans in a community-building space that could be multi-use for developing community as well. It would be the only coffee shop within miles, the only WiFi spot in town, and would serve as an ideal meeting place for the Weidmans to get to know their new community. In August of 2013, the doors of the coffee shop opened to the public and was a success right out of the gates. Since those early days of just 5 local employees plus the Weidmans, the coffee shop has now expanded into a full restaurant and employees over a dozen people from the local community.