Max Pruna, Master RoasterI was born in the city of Medellin, Colombia; a place where coffee is a staple in the diet. At an early age, my mom introduced me to "cafecito" (coffee with lots of milk and sugar), since then I haven't stopped drinking it, however now without milk or sugar ;) Fast forward to 1999, I graduated from college, got married to my high school sweetheart, Andrea, and we moved to New Hampshire to pursue our dreams, complete our education with a Master's Degree's. We attended Southern New Hampshire University's Graduate School of Business, which then led us onto opportunities in the corporate world. Andrea settled into a career she loved, yet I kept bouncing around trying to find what I was passionate about, nonetheless one thing remained the same, my love for Colombian coffee and my desire to someday start my own company. During the 2008 financial crisis, I decided to step away from the corporate world to pursue real estate (another of my passions), while continuing to learn about coffee on the side. In 2015 I got invited to Northeastern University in Boston to learn directly from George Howell and his amazing coffee story. George Howell is a legend in the Specialty Coffee industry and his story and coffee opened my eyes to a new coffee world. After listening to his inspiring coffee story he announced to the audience he had freshly roasted Colombian Specialty coffee from Finca La Esmeralda for everyone to taste, but without any milk or sugar. I was expecting a bitter taste, just like all the coffees I had in Colombia growing up, yet to my surprise the coffee tasted sweet and fruity, nothing like I had ever tasted before. Ever since, I've been going down the coffee "rabbit hole" reading and learning everything about specialty coffee, taking roasting courses, visiting coffee farms in Colombia, attending the Specialty Coffee Association Expos, along with various coffee festivals, where I've had the opportunity to connect with many coffee roasters, coffee shop owners, coffee fanatics, and connoisseurs.
Roasting ProcessDuring the summer of 2016, I decided to take the first step into the coffee industry by launching an instagram account called @roasterscraft. The goal was to promote and connect specialty coffee roasters and farmers around the world. To my surprise what started with a few followers had grown to thousands of followers whose main passion is coffee. The Roasters Craft instagram account allowed me to connect and learn from different roasters and farmers around the world. Soon after I started selling coffee from different roasters online through Roasters Craft. That experience allowed meet and learn a ton about the different roasting profiles, the variety of coffees, the industry trends but more importantly to connect with coffee lovers. Then I took a second step and bought an Arc Roaster with 600 grams capacity to start learning how to roast from my garage (a lot of coffee was burned in the process). Finally, in 2019, my passion for coffee and entrepreneurship came together, and La Mulita Coffee was born. After a year of roasting from my garage I decided to start searching for a commercial space in Portsmouth, NH to launch my own Colombian coffee brand. I went through countless spaces with no luck in finding one that would comply with zoning regulations and not be outrageously expensive, I decided to start looking elsewhere. One morning as I was driving my kids to school I noticed a new "for lease" sign at 15 Sagamore Road in Rye and without even looking at the inside I knew that would be a perfect spot for La Mulita Coffee Roastery.

Max, BaristaI started renovations in January 2019 with a limited budget and after 9 months of sweat and effort we opened our doors. I started as a lone employee but with the high hopes that La Mulita would grow overtime and we could build a team; unfortunately the global pandemic hit a few months thereafter. We had to pivot fast and turn our business to serve our guests online; with the support and encouragement of our amazing community, we survived those first few years. Today, we are proud to see the hard work and dedication of our team has come to fruition. The support from our community is invaluable, and today La Mulita is a hub for connections, quality coffee and friendship.

Come on in and visit us, we'd love to see you!