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Celebrating Small Businesses
Join CAC President, Robert Carter, who will host a conversation about the joys, challenges and opportunities for small businesses in the coffee industry.


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Maria Fiallos
Co-Owner @Las Chicas del Cafe
In November 2005, sisters Maria and Valeria Fiallos took three generations of coffee growers and one generation of coffee importers and founded Las Chicas del Cafe. Guided by a personal philosophy based on quality, tradition, and sustainability, their coffee is a true testament to craftsmanship; from the time the coffee cherries are picked to the time the beans are packaged for consumers, all handling and processing is done by hand. Today, the owners of Las Chicas del Cafe, are celebrating more than 16 years in business: roasting quality homegrown coffee from a historic location in St. Thomas, Ontario and doing it their way. Maria also heads her own coffee sourcing company, Aroma Nica Inc. She personally sources all of her coffee in Nicaragua. And also brews and retails at her own espresso bar, Streamliners Espresso Bar in St. Thomas.
Andrew Carter
Regional Market Leader-Franchise Finance @BMO
Andrew has been working with franchisees and small business owners his entire career. His strong operational background complements his franchise financing knowledge, providing holistic advice to all franchising situations.
Jim Gilliland
Co-Founder & CEO @BEANWISE
Jim Gilliland has worked in the coffee industry for more than 25 years, including executive sales positions with Second Cup Coffee (Toronto, ON) and Distant Lands Coffee Roaster (Tyler, Texas). In late 1999, Jim started BEANWISE (originally known as Cultured Coffee Bean) a company primarily focused on exporting high quality Canadian roasted coffee beans to cafes and gourmet food stores located in the United States. In 2002, BEANWISE.ca was launched, one of Canada's first e-commerce coffee websites selling and shipping freshly roasted whole bean coffees, single serve coffee pods, flavourings by Monin, appliances and accessories to consumers and businesses coast to coast. BEANWISE now has 3 locations in Toronto.