Augusto Carneiro '01 | University of Portland

Augusto Carneiro '01

Augusto CarneiroCo-founder and CEO, Nossa Familia Coffee

Major: Mechanical Engineering

I received the best that the University of Portland has to offer with its mission of teaching, faith, and service. I gained important leadership skills as a resident assistant, which helped me succeed in the business world.

Being a resident assistant taught me how to walk the line of being friends and being in a position of authority. As an engineering student, I also had to learn about balance. I had to dedicate time to rigorous coursework, work-study, and playing tennis for Pilot athletics.

I was born in Brazil and spent much of my youth on incredible coffee farms. My great- grandfather and his brothers planted our family’s first coffee crop in 1890. This connection led me and fellow student, Jason Lesh ’01, to follow our passion and entrepreneurial spirit and start Nossa Familia Coffee in 2004. Jason and I each invested $400 to purchase the first coffee shipment from my family. In 2010, Jason sold his shares to my family members, strengthening our vertical integration. We now employ more than 40 people and roast over 350,000 pounds per year.

An important issue for me, in addition to the quality of our beans and roasting process, is being committed to social and environmental stewardship in both Portland and Brazil. Our company is dedicated to ensuring that farmers are paid fair wages to sustain their livelihoods. In our quest for better business practices, we are joining other certified B Corporations, and we offer annual coffee tours of my family’s farm for ultimate transparency in business.

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