Venezuelan woman follows her passion, opens Troupial

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 10:33 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As we wrap up Hispanic Heritage month, we celebrate Hispanic individuals in our community working to make Savannah a better place.

WTOC’s Cyreia Sandlin spoke with a Venezuelan woman who followed her family to the Hostess City, and launched a wildly successful  business, despite the pandemic.

Majo Laprea cannot imagine life without coffee.

“My family, we’re coffee farmers for a long time, so it is part of my blood,” Laprea said.

She owns Troupial Cafe, a specialty coffee shop with food, that opened earlier this year. Though coffee is her passion, engineering is her trade.

“I lived in Argentina for 7 years working as an engineer, but at the same time, following my passion which was coffee, drinks and the gastronomy industry.”

Her uncle owns Rancho Alegre, a popular Cuban restaurant in downtown Savannah. She followed her aunt and uncle over here and worked as a bartender before going out on her own.

“One day I  woke up and was like I need a Guava bread. I connected the need with my idea about coffee, and I started taking classes online to be a baker.”

She teamed up with another local business owner and then...

“We started doing the Farmer’s Market, just baking and offering Venezualan bread, and he had his pastries.”

And the rest is history. Troupial offers food and drink you won’t find anywhere else around here.

“It’s different because its the first Venezualan concept in town, first arepa bar.”

“We have a lot of options, deep fried options, baked goods, pastries, arepas, and our espresso based drinks.”

Three years ago, Majo arrived in Savannah not speaking a word of English. Now, she owns a successful business with plans to expand to a new location. Her dreams are coming true, and she says she is most grateful for being welcomed, with open arms.

“Savannah is great, it supports all kind of new ideas, concepts, especially if you are feeding their soul.”

Troupial is already growing! The coffee shop plans to move to a new, larger location across the street from its current spot. They will eventually offer lunch and dinner service.

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