Not long ago, Maria Palacio, CEO and co-founder of Palo Alto-based Progeny Coffee, a company that sources coffee from her native country Colombia, was enjoying the fruits of her labor. She has also gone into labor, giving birth her daughter Sky, the second child in her progeny. On the business front, she had contracts with a growing cadre of companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, bringing thousands of employees at Google, Salesforce, Microsoft, Stripe, and Intuit the brew that kept them alert and happy. She had scaled her business with a B2B model that seemed unstoppable, and had begun leveraging the connections she made as a student at the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI).
Then the bean hit the fan. Since March 19, the day California announced shelter-in-place, sales at Progeny plummeted 97%. It’s consistent with the numbers compiled by SLEI, a collaboration between the non-profit Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.