The us and the we behind Esfuerzo Mezcal Artesanal

In an effort to practice transparency, we think it is of utmost importance to speak to the intention and inner-workings of Esfuerzo Mezcal Artesanal as we embark on this journey. Here, we would like to share the goals, the structure, and introduce you to the people behind the project.

At the heart of Esfuerzo Mezcal are the mezcaleros and their family. 74 year old Margarito Garcia Garcia has been making mezcal in the same way and in the same place for 50 years. His son Artemio (Temo) is now poised to carry on this sacred tradition, as his father advances in age.

Margarito García and his son, Artemio García Cruz outside their palenque.

This post will be one of the few places which also focuses on the peripheral aspects of Esfuerzo, primarily the north american importer working on administrative items and operating as a story-telling apparatus (that’s me), in hope of presenting the work of the mezcalero to patrons who appreciate it.

Our outward presentation centers the mezcaleros and their family because we believe that to be the most important aspect of Esfuerzo but we also believe that anyone should be able access the full picture of Esfuerzo.

A bit about our Oaxacan Structure

Currently, we only work with one family as it is our belief that we’ll be able to cultivate a more meaningful long-term relationship through a singularly focused partnership.

Artemio and Margarito are our partners. They are our family. We strive to continuously honor their work, respect them, and value them. We are grateful for their invitation to participate in that work from across the border. We do this by paying more than fair prices, investing in critical infrastructure to get their palenque and their fields to a place that allows them to export their mezcal—this includes building of a new still, construction of an auxiliary structure for bottling and storage, a water tank, and a pump to bottle their mezcal. However, the contribution and investment that we may be the most proud of is the planting of 1500 agaves on land owned by Margarito and Temo in San Dionisio Ocotepec, at the end of June of this year. Please message us directly if you’d like more information on how much we pay per liter, or how any company profits are shared. We want to be 100% transparent.

Our plans for the future include building out a nursery to gather and cultivate agave and other plant species endemic to their particular place in the world. We want to work with them to ensure the survival of these rare plants, we want to make sure that we are planting more agave than what is being used in production to make Esfuerzo Mezcal Artesanal, and we want to do our part to help maintain biodiversity by cultivating most of these plants from seeds. Most of all we want to ensure that we are not doing any unnecessary damage to the incredible environment that allows us to create our product, we want to nurture it and help it thrive.

Sustainability and the idea of preservation is a charge that we take quite seriously. We are working with Cynthia Ruiz Villalobos and her team at Aventureros based in Oaxaca to establish a robust sustainability program and to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of anyone who works to help make Esfuerzo Mezcal. We believe that the Mezcal-making community in Oaxaca should take the lead on issues of sustainability. They have preserved this culturally significant spirit and the process by which it's made for hundreds if not thousands of years and we believe that they are best equipped to ensure mezcal’s continued survival and success. We listen, we learn, we support, we offer resources, and we amplify the good work of organizations on the ground. That is our role as importers and partners.

We make these contributions as a sign of goodwill, Artemio and Margarito are not bound by any contract with us and they are fully free to work with anyone that they would like to. We strive to do our best to demonstrate our appreciation for them through these investments and fair compensation and in return their relationship with us remains “at will”.

And now, some more about the “us” and the “we” that we keep referring to...

There is an LLC, in the United States, to fulfill all the legal requirements necessary to run a business.

The U.S.- based organization is comprised of:

David Martinez, Partner, Managing Director
Ricardo Roberto Bojorquez, Partner and Creative Director
Scott Hanson, Partner and Media Director
Terry Rayment, Partner and Creative Strategy
Kristofer Barton, Partner and Business Strategy

WHY are we doing this?

My partners were gracious enough to allow me the space and time to explore the depth of my heritage while preparing the U.S. presentation of Margarito and Temo’s work.

On a very personal note, I know this much to be true:

This spirit has the power to transform those who partake of it. Exploring this spirit and the context surrounding it has opened me up to new layers of my own rich cultural heritage that I had been cut-off from for most of my life and, in turn, it opened my eyes to my own belonging.

It took me from a sense of shame to a feeling of pride.
It took me from a place of anxiety and confusion to a place of clarity and comfort.
It paved the way for me to experience a deep sense of belonging.

So aside from sharing this beautiful spirit with others, I hope that our design, storytelling, and messaging conveys these incredible experiences that are so personal to me.

In that same spirit,
I invite you to come and have a seat at our table, have a sip and a rest wherever you may be going.

David Martinez
ESFUERZO Mezcal Artesanal

Please reach out with any questions or thoughts: