We to We features members who have built their companies on the WeWork platform.
In 2014, coffee enthusiast Chad Campbell asked his longtime friend Johan Pesenti, founder of Coperaco Coffee, to teach him about coffee and roasting. Always happy to share his passion with friends, Pesenti obliged. Little did he know that this initial conversation around roasting, the coffee business, and hospitality would take the Coperaco business to new heights.
Coperaco Coffee sources, roasts, and blends seasonal coffees for major hospitality brands like Eric Kayser and Intercontinental. But regardless of Coperaco’s scale and global reach, the company still works directly with local coffee farmers to understand how best to harvest and roast their coffee. Pesenti himself travels around the world and maintains relationships with Coperaco’s suppliers. “Coperaco revolves around a passion for discovering and cultivating coffee in different cultures and communities around the world,” he explains.
Pesenti also leads his company with environmental consciousness. At Coperaco’s coffee-roasting sites, there is no by-product, as they reuse everything. For example, the shells that come off after roasting make for excellent compost. “No matter where we go, we have one thing in mind: to respect Mother Nature and coffee as its precious gift,” Pesenti says.
This emphasis on human connection and sustainability resonated with Campbell, and when he joined WeWork’s marketing team in 2015, he introduced Pesenti to the group that was planning the company’s expansion into Latin America. As the two companies possess shared values, Coperaco felt like an ideal partner for WeWork. The result was a unique partnership in which Coperaco would develop an essential component of WeWork’s first space in Latin America: the café.
When Pesenti arrived in Mexico City to open Coperaco at WeWork Varsovia, there were challenges: tax laws, limits to obtaining capital in a foreign country, time constraints, transportation, and logistics. But WeWork supported Coperaco through many of these hurdles, providing space for Pesenti on the ground so he could work onsite with the WeWork team and lending legal support as he navigated the complexities of setting up shop in Mexico. Through this collaborative relationship, the two businesses have become a uniquely complementary hospitality duo.
Today, Coperaco Coffee Co. operates all WeWork cafés in Mexico and Colombia: With 14 in Mexico City, six in Bogotá, and one in Medellín, Coperaco has become a major part of the experience for members of WeWork’s community there.
“When I visited WeWork for the first time, I had just started my company,” says Pesenti. “Now we have over 100 employees. We roast 10,000 pounds of coffee beans a day. WeWork has been a true launchpad for Coperaco.”
Coperaco espresso bars fit seamlessly into WeWork’s spaces, adding an intimate café vibe that members can enjoy all day, along with premium coffee products. “Coperaco has elevated the experience for our members,” says Harald Edelman, a community manager at WeWork Reforma 26 in Mexico City. “Not only do we all enjoy their delicious coffee, they also bring an authentic communal sentiment to our spaces. Their cafés drive conversation and connection that is invaluable for our community.”
For Coperaco, the collaboration has taken the business to the next level. WeWork’s expansion into Latin America allowed Coperaco not only to expand its product’s reach and elevate its business model, it has also provided a canvas for creativity and innovation. With every new location that opens in a WeWork space, Coperaco works with WeWork’s team to bring new products and design aesthetics to the café spaces.
Coperaco has also expanded its sustainability initiative, using only ceramics and silverware in their cafés, and if a customer wants a to-go cup, they have biodegradable paper products. They implement a discount for anyone who brings their own cup, and they recently started a program with Mexican company Olio that makes use of food that would otherwise go to waste.
“At this point, we feel like we are part of the WeWork family,” says Pesenti. “We have grown together and always look forward to taking on new challenges in service of our customers and the members of our community.”
The latest development in Coperaco and WeWork’s evolving partnership involves the WeWork community—select Coperaco cafés will offer food products from WeWork member companies to supplement their coffee. “It’s another great example of the depth of our relationship with WeWork,” says Pesenti. “We’re always discovering new opportunities to enhance the Coperaco experience and add to the ways we support our customers.”