Starting your own business can be tricky. Starting your own business in a foreign country? Now that is a real challenge. However, in 2003, that is exactly what Colin Flahive and Kris Ariel set out to do in Dali when they first began thinking about Salvador’s Coffee House. Although they moved Salvador’s to Kunming in 2004 with the help of two of their friends, the spirit of the place remained the same.
Salvador’s aims to offer great food, environmentally sustainable products, and an enriching workplace for its employees. Over time Colin and his friends became so impressed with the loyalty of their staff that they decided they wanted to give something back to Yunnan. To do this the four friends started Village Progress as a way to support the communities surrounding them. The goal of Village Progress is to allow locals to “recognize problems and address them in ways that work within their own skills and interests.” Since its inception, Village Progress has sought to do just that whether it was healthcare, sustainability, or education.
Salvador’s increased commitment to enriching the lives of its employees has not led to the abandonment of its other pursuits. Located in the back of the restaurant is Green Kunming, a store that concentrates on selling a whole host of organic products including organic toothpaste from Beijing as well as local food like honey, milk, and yogurt. Next on the horizon is the development of Salvador’s very own Dali granola bars. Quality service, organic food, and community involvement–there’s nothing these guys cannot do. Stop by next time you are in Kunming, and see for yourself.
Interested in joining us on a trip to Kunming? Many of our Yunnan travel programs, such as Yunnan: South of the Clouds and From Salween to Mekong begin in Kunming. Questions? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can fit any itinerary to your needs.
Photo of Salvador’s staff by Salvador’s Cafe