Customer Photo of Abel & Lora Peña

Abel & Lora Peña

Owners of Telesto Coffee in Dallas, Texas

Abel Peña grew up in central Texas surrounded by entrepreneurship. His mother owned a women’s boutique and consignment store; Abel began working in the shop as a young boy. “She loved having her own business and setting her own schedule," he says. "That’s where I learned the concept of having a product and making money. The idea of owning my own business was always there, although I didn't know where my path to that dream lay.”
Several years later, while pursuing a master’s degree in international development, Abel found his path in Africa. Studying social enterprise projects in Uganda, he was inspired by coffee and the sense of community it creates. While traveling and learning about coffee, Abel was consistently struck by how hard it was for children to simply attend school. “When I saw the schools they were entering with 40 kids in a little room, 10 desks and not even a teacher to teach them, I had to figure out how I could make a difference," he says.  
Founding Telesto Coffee with his wife, Lora, was the solution. Lora has a background in education, growing up as the daughter of a school principal and serving as a teacher for five years.
Combining their shared passion for coffee, education, and culture, the couple launched the business with a guiding mission to provide coffee with social purpose. The subscription-based coffee business delivers fresh-roasted coffee from five countries directly to customers' doors. When the time came to fund the business, Abel knew just where to go.
“In my master’s degree program we researched micro-finance loans and I wrote a paper about DreamSpring — never thinking that one day I’d be the one receiving the loan," he says. “DreamSpring added fuel to the fire to get our business started.” 
Today, Telesto Coffee is thriving and Abel and Lora have big plans for the next phase of their journey. Still holding down day jobs, the couple intend to run the business full-time soon. Telesto Coffee is already making a difference for families and children around the globe. In addition to working exclusively with fair trade farms, 5% of Kenyan coffee purchases support Operation Give and Grow, a local Kenyan organization that helps pay for schooling for children in the Kilifi District. Next, Abel and Lora envision giving back in their home state by opening a flagship coffee shop in Texas.