Image: Courtesy Santo Coffee Co. 

VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s been an up and down season for Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Fredy Montero. In 28 games this season, Montero has scored 6 goals, and added 2 assists. It’s a far cry from the 13 goals he scored with Vancouver in 2017. While Montero has struggled to find consistency on the pitch, he has found success away from the pitch.

Santo Coffee Co. opened it’s doors on Sunday, August 11, 2019 in Seattle’s, Roosevelt neighbourhood. Montero, his wife Alexis, are co-owners, along with Mikhail, and Jessica Ghyvoronsky.

“The grand opening, we had a lot of people,” Montero explained to Har Journalist following training in Vancouver. “We have social media, and thank god, I have good follower base in Seattle. They came up to check it out, from all over Washington,  Olympia, Bellingham, and they love it. New customers are showing up everyday, and we continue to serve coffee to the people that are coming daily. It’s a pleasure for us to serve them.”

As a native of Colombia, Montero and coffee go hand, in hand. He has always been a coffee enthusiast, but it wasn’t until his first tenure with Vancouver, that he and his wife had an inkling that opening up a coffee shop was what they wanted to do.

“We started going to different coffee shops,” Montero explained. “That’s where we got the idea. My wife and I have been coffee lovers since we were in Seattle. It’s been part of our lives having a break away from the kids at a coffee shop, and enjoying a good coffee.”

As someone who has spent his entire life, eating, sleeping, and breathing football all over the world, Montero needed to get an expert on board. Once the idea was born, he needed to find someone to help make his dream a reality.

“I don’t know everything, but that’s part of the thing,” Montero explained. “The manager (Mikhail Ghyvoronsky), is the barista, and our part owner. He was the one that was in town, searching for places, and trying to get a good deal. Financially we had the opportunity to get other people that came with my wife and I. It was a good way to start our first business. Sometimes you need people that know the path. We’re following those mentors. Thank god that everything is going well.”

The 32-year-old, Montero needed to find the best coffee beans. His background in his home country helped him find the best coffee beans on the planet. Colombian coffee roaster, Devoción was exactly what he was looking for.

“We are blessed enough to have mountains in Colombia, a different climate, and weather where the coffee can taste different. Yes, our coffee is one-hundred percent Colombian. We’re trying to get the best harvest in town. We’re working with one of the best roasters in the U.S.A – It takes ten days from the farmers to the roastery. They roast it, and within a week it’s in the coffee shop.

It’s the freshest coffee that you can find in the U.S.A.” Montero proudly said.

The hottest drink on the menu at Santo Coffee Co. coincides with the summer season.

“At the moment ice coffee, because of the weather,” Montero revealed. “We’re also selling a lot of panela latte, which is our signature latte. It’s originally from Colombia, it’s like a sugar cane. It’s like a brick, and then you melt it or grind it. It’s really sweet, it’s a different flavour. We are happy that people are accepting this new latte.”

The grind of traveling back and forth from Seattle during Whitecaps FC off-days hasn’t taken a toll on Montero. Santo Coffee Co. isn’t the only reason why Montero has been making the three-hour journey down Interstate-5.

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“I try to be a professional and travel when I can,” Montero explained. “My wife has been a huge help, sometimes she has to go. Also, the main reason we go a lot to Seattle is to attend our church. Our church is in Seattle, and we have a good relationship with all our friends there. We are always trying to make it, because for five years we were away in Portugal. It’s our responsibility that we have as Christians.”

As you might expect, Montero made sure to include the most important part of any coffee shop.

“Yeah, wifi. We have wifi.” Montero laughed.

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