Founder, Nick Penaloza, was managing operations at a multi-national bank while working on his MBA, and was dissatisfied with the burned or sour flavors of many coffees. Forte Legato Coffee originated with the goal of having a pleasant and flavorful cup of coffee yet somehow smooth, like a perfect symphony.
Taking the advice of his wife to start roasting his own coffee, discovering profiles of roasting that can still create great flavors without under-roasted sourness or over-roasted char flavors.
Nick moved from the Bay Area in California after overseeing a relocation strategy for banking operations to Charlotte, seeing a huge opportunity to provide great coffee to the Greater Charlotte Area while applying his operations and process improvement skills to coffee. Forte Legato established its presence in Fort Mill, SC in 2013.
Ultimately, Forte Legato wants to tell the farmer’s story from seed to cup through direct trade and programs like More than Fair, which allow us to reward the farmers with compensation they rightfully deserve.
forte |ˈfôrˌtā | noun Italian, literally ‘strong, loud’
legato |ləˈɡädō| noun Italian, literally ‘bound, connected, smooth’