The Great Lakes Coffee Story
The Nicolaides family have been involved in coffee in Africa for three generations, starting out as farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Today, the family own and operate Great Lakes Coffee (GLC), a Uganda-based green coffee sourcing, milling and exporting company. GLC builds community wet mills, creates access to finance, provides training for farmers and pays for the certification of smallholder farmer groups.
The Great Lakes Coffee history in Uganda
- Mr. Vrasidas Nicolaides & Mr. Andreas Odyseos immigrate from Cyprus to Belgian Congo (ex Zaire, now DRC) in search for a better life and settle in Eastern DRC to raise their young families.
- Set up various general trading companies in the Belgian Congo.
- Establish 1st coffee business PLANOKI (Plantation de Nord Kivu) in Beni, DRC.
- Costas Nicolaides & Telis Nicolaides (sons of Vrasidas Nicolaides) join the family business after being raised in DRC & completing education in Europe.
- Establish 2nd coffee business COFFEELAC in Goma, on the shores of Lake Kivu, DRC.
- Establish Great Lakes Coffee Company in Kampala, Uganda.
- Today, the 2nd and 3rd generation Andreas Nicolaides & Costas Stamos are active members of the coffee business continuing an 80 years coffee family heritage in East Africa.
Kampala head office and dry mill
From their Head Office and Dry Mill and Processing Center in Kampala, the Great Lakes Coffee team coordinates Final Coffee Processing, Quality Analysis, and Cup Analysis prior to Export Loading under FOT or FOB.
Great Lakes Coffee also has regional stores in Kasese, Mbale, and Paidha. Regional Stores purchase, part process and stock coffees collected from Producer partners, before sending to Kampala for final processing and export.