Guerrero Serving Up Culture Along with Coffee at 211 Café
September 6th, 2016 by Martha Londagin
“The moment of coffee, to me, is the moment to talk,” says Mauricio Guerrero, owner of 211 Café just off the Bentonville Square.
Guerrero, a native of Guatemala, moved to Bentonville with his wife, who works for Wal-Mart.
“Opening a coffee shop has been a dream of mine for years even before moving to the United States, and so since I quit my job with Millicom for this move, by opening this coffee shop in Bentonville, I am able to bring Guatemala here to Bentonville instead.”
Mauricio holds a chemical engineering degree and thus talks intimately about the coffee roasting process and the 300 chemical reactions involved. The different manual brewing techniques the cafe uses (Chemex, Aeropress, V60, and French Press) also set it a part.
“I love interacting with customers in the shop and explaining to them these processes, our pour-over brewing technique we feature, and just sharing stories of Guatemalan coffee and its beans. We offer the true, full coffee culture experience here with every cup served,” he said.
With its rich brown walls and modern hardwood box benches, the warm interior of 211 Café welcomes coffee lovers. Local art brightly adorns the walls, all created by local artists invited to display their works for sale at no charge. Musicians are invited to perform for free as well.
“Music is my passion also, and in fact the name of the café is taken from Johann Sebastian Bach’s operatic piece BWV 211, known as ‘The Coffee Cantata,'” Guerrero explained. “He wrote it to poke fun at the fact that there was a social revolution around coffee in the 18th century.”
Bill Fox, center director of the ASBTDC in the Walton College at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, started working with Guerrero in 2014, and the store opened in the fall of 2015.
“Bill helped me with all the financial analysis, market study and over all landing the project, says Mauricio. “His assistance were really helpful, opening a business being from another country could be overwhelming, there is the challenge not only of the language but the business culture, laws, etc. with the help of Bill everything was more easy and I won confidence after the help that I received.”