Catherine Ganapathy’s long odyssey with coffee began when a bout of illness inspired her to explore self-healing through diet. Realising she needed to overhaul her entire relationship with food, she fell in love with the simple, reinvigorating power of natural nourishment. Looking for an impactful way to share her new discoveries with the world, she eventually moved with her husband, Leo Soriano Jr, to India and embarked on the humblest of attempts to reconnect with her family, coffee, and the environment. Today, the couple behind the buttery, strong and lively coffee from Howl & Kodama, which in turn runs the Coorg Karnataka Alilu Estate, see coffee simply as a beacon for a more holistic understanding of sustainability and health.
Women are at the heart of the transformative efforts of this enterprise. By emphasising partnerships between mission-driven women, Howl & Kodama advocates for less gendered coffee-farming practices and champions the contributions of women to the thriving coffee farming scene, not just in Coorg but across India. They do this by recognising the contributions and wisdom that women bring to the coffee production process while supporting the right of women to inherit farmland and make social and cultural decisions that benefit themselves and their family. Seeking authenticity, integrity and compassion across the entire value chain, Howl & Kodama is committed to natural farming and production processes, the minimal usage of chemicals and pesticides in food, and the preservation of native fauna and eco-systems on farms.