Toucanet Coffee was started in 2001 by Helen Kalevas of Flagstaff, AZ. Helen worked as an ornithologist with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center doing bird and insect studies on a coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico. During this time she learned the importance of shade-grown coffee for the local bird population. As an ornithologist and avid coffee drinker, she was interested and motivated to start selling the coffee as a hobby in 2001. Soon after, the fair trade concept and Cafe Femenino entered the coffee scene. The business grew from a box of coffee on a front porch with a money deposit box to a state-wide delivery business with national mail order service over the next 8 years.
The company strives to continue the founder's vision of providing quality shade-grown, fair-trade, organic coffee by sourcing from farms that support these values while maintaining strong business and customer relationships with those who similarly place importance on the quality and Eco-friendliness of the product they consume.