By Candice Wagener | Photographed by Sunny Frantz
Coffee lovers and foodies can get a mini experience of El Salvador at the newly opened Finca Coffee on Madison’s South Side. Owner Marleni Valle is proud to share her culture through the food, drink and ambience represented.
Be sure to try the quesadillas. An unexpected sweet treat, these housemade delights are reminiscent of a corn muffin, sprinkled with sesame seeds. They go perfectly with a cup of coffee.
Also, don’t miss the national dish of El Salvador, pupusas, a thicker, filled corn tortilla which is lightly fried. A woman named Alba comes in daily to make the dough, and fillings—like the chicharron, are derived from Valle’s old family recipes.
Valle wants “to bring a little slice of typical Salvadoran to Madison,” says general manager Todd Allbaugh, who brings an extensive knowledge of coffee to the table.
In addition to promoting Salvadoran culture here in Madison, Valle supports the economy where she came from in buying direct from coffee growers. The name Finca comes from the Central American term for “farm” and is representative of the strong relationships the business has with their farmers.
Through those direct relationships, Finca knows exactly how their coffee beans were grown and, by cutting out the middle person, they are able to pay their farmers beyond fair trade prices.
Allbaugh adds Finca wouldn’t exist without the support of the Alexander Company. Finca is a part of their pilot project, which aims to assist minority women-owned businesses on tenant improvement allowances in order to bring greater diversity and food culture to the area.
2500 Rimrock Rd., Madison; fincamadison.com