Economy & Business
11:31 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Colectivo is the new Alterra: Fowler Explains the Name Change

The same taste of Alterra can be found in Colectivo.
Credit Jason Gessner, flickr
Lake Effect's Bonnie North talks with Lincoln Fowler, co-founder and co-owner of Colectivo Coffee.

Colectivo is the new Alterra and a lot of people are needing a strong cup of coffee to swallow the news.

Lincoln Fowler, co-owner of Colectivo, explains that the name is the only change.

The Agreement with Mars

Mars came to Alterra in 2008, interested in buying the company not for the actual business, but for the name. Alterra turned them down, but after much persistence, they agreed in 2010. Mars worked with Alterra owners in their marketing department, trying to strengthen the Mars brand.

In 2012, Alterra owners came to Mars and said that they were ready to become independent once again. The sacrifice: the name.

Name Change

Fowler said that this is the second name change in the company’s history. The company was originally called El Turra. In 1993, they decided to change the name to Alterra and the name took off.

The new name, Colectivo, is a common mode of transportation in Guatemala. They are privately-owned, individually-purchased retired school buses from North America. Fowler thinks this is a great metaphor because it is a communal place, trying to get people from the highlands to the coffee farms, and it is also a great form of entrepreneurship.

The Outlook

Since it was taken on by Mars, the company added more than 130 positions. They have expanded to Madison, where they sell their own homemade brew, using parts of the coffee bean.

In the future, they are planning to open more locations in Madison and they will continue to collaborate and connect the communities that support them.