Who We Are
Campesino Mateo brings the flavors of the Peruvian Andean Mountains and Amazon Jungle directly to artisan producers and consumers. We live and work with farmers, forming partnerships to offer the highest quality goods to our clients.
Campesino Mateo is how I came to be known in Peru, although some know me as Matthew Block. I have lived and worked on many family farms learning how to cultivate and process coffee, cacao (chocolate), and other plants from generations of "campesinos" (rural farmers) in the time-honored way. From my perspective, nowhere is the spirit, beauty and authenticity of traditional cultures reflected more strongly than on the land. Ancient Peruvian cultural practices remain vibrant today in remote valleys hidden among the Andean Mountains and Amazon Jungle. My goal is to connect family farmers from these places with artisan producers and consumers, guaranteeing fair prices for the farmer and providing the market with the highest quality products. I work exclusively with growers who never use genetically modified seeds, chemicals or synthetic fertilizers.
I have extensive experience in organic agriculture, having worked on over 20 organic farms and permaculture sites in the United States. In Maine I harvested apples, pressed cider, and made apple cider vinegar at Sewell's Orchard, the oldest certified organic orchard in the state. In addition, I have farmed on small scale properties and commercial farms in the Pacific Northwest. In Peru I have worked on over 50 farms in the country's three distinct climates: the coast, the mountains, and the jungle. My friend Abi Mael and I started "Project Pumamarca" in Peru, producing and locally distributing artisanal chocolates and foods from the raw products grown on his family's farm. I've conducted extensive research on coffee and during my time working at George Howell Coffee I created and delivered an educational presentation for training new employees while learning the fine art of being a barista. My experience at the company's cafe and roastery has been instrumental in furthering my knowledge and appreciation of artisan coffee.
Eager to experience firsthand a land where ancient farming traditions still prevail, I worked on organic farms and quickly fell in love with the country's culture, people, and truly delicious food. The captivating aroma of roasted and ground cacao, the creamy sensous texture of ripe lucuma, the luscious juiciness of fresh passionfruit, and the deep sweet aroma of mountain grown coffee form a rich tapestry of flavors I am excited to share with you!