Thank you to all the Sexy Llamas in Peru for giving us tons of laughs and photo opportunities!
My first trip to Peru was not planned, at all. Weird, I know.
I had sailed down to Antarctica with a group of friends and half-jokingly told my Dad to meet me in Ushuaia, Argentina upon my return. Never one to miss an opportunity to travel, I found him waiting on the dock when my boat arrived.
We hiked to Chile on the Hito XXIV trail in Tierra del Fuego National Park, ate copious amounts of fresh seafood, lost a debit card, did shots at an ice bar, laughed and cried as we spent a few days in Ushuaia, marveling at the Beagle Channel and the incredible wildlife.
The only plans we had following Ushuaia were to fly to Buenos Aires and take the BuqueBus (a kick-ass, high speed catamaran across the Rio de la Plata) to Montevideo, Uruguay where we would meet up with some friends.
As most seasoned travelers know, you need to show proof that you will be exiting the country before you will be let into the country. We had the biggest meat faucet of a dinner in Buenos Aires and discussed what we should do next. We talked about Easter Island, the Galapagos (that actually did happen, after Peru…), Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil and finally, Machu Picchu.
We called on some connections and booked a guide for Machu Picchu, along with flights and a cute, affordable, hotel near Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
We celebrated Thanksgiving in Montevideo, visited with our friends, enjoyed mate and found the Southern Cross before making our way to the airport and flying to Lima. Side note: If you can get a direct to Cusco or a transfer through Bogota (El Dorado) do that. Lima is GAHHHHHHH!
Peru stole my heart before we even landed. Watching the mural of mountains, with their switchback dirt roads, clinging to the precipice, ever in danger of collapsing, had me on the edge of my seat, nose pressed against the window (mind you I wasn’t even in the window seat…).
We drank ridiculous amounts of coffee, chicha, and coca tea and ate just as much chocolate and fresh fruit, cuy, alpaca and potatoes.
We took the train to Aguas Caliente and then the bus up to Machu Picchu (I would return to Peru a few months later and hike my sorry, out-of-shape self to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay, camping at coffee farms along the way). It was here that I knew Peru would forever be a part of my life, I just didn’t know how.
Fast forward to March 2020.
We took a last minute trip to NYC for a coffee tradeshow. While we were there, we purchased a roaster. Our plans were simple at the time, roast primarily for our mobile espresso bar (founded in 2014). We arrived back home and the World went to complete (insert any expletive here). Food truck land, along with everything else, was temporarily shut down. So, we started roasting, and roasting, and roasting.
What do we call our new company? We played with dozens of different names and none of them hit the mark. Sitting under the apple tree one evening, waiting for the 8 o’clock bells, we were reminiscing about our last trip to Peru and how much we missed our friend Elizabeth. She would always joke around and point out all of the ‘sexy llamas.’ With a simultaneous face palm and OMG, my husband and I looked at each other and we knew we had a name. And with that, Sexy Llama Coffee Roasters was born.