Jerome Solamito is part of a new generation of Monegasques who believes in the commodity market. And he is betting big on coffee.
Back in 2018, Monegasque Jerome Solamito, along with a few friends, cofounded Jorgensen Foods, a pure-play soft commodity specialist focused on trading agriculture commodities, mainly coffee and sugar.
The Monaco-based company has teamed up with a world-leading coffee merchant and exporter in Sao Paulo, Brazil, who has a proven track record spanning half a century that includes cornering the market in Russia in the early Nineties when an astounding 250,000 tons of coffee was traded in the country under various brands.
Solamito’s love for coffee and trading commodities can be traced back to his years spent in New York, where he owned a restaurant in the Village. He got up close and personal with the Commodity Exchange and its traders and investors.
“It was riveting to listen to their stories when they would come to my restaurant,” says Solamito, who is expanding Jorgensen Foods international to trading wines with producers from Tuscany.
“When I came back to Monaco, I made friends with professional investors who loved the business like I did. It was a no-brainer to transform my interest into a reality,” states the 32-year-old.
Fast forward two years, the small Monegasque company is thriving with sales in Russia, the Middle East and China.
Tea-drinking China may rank low in coffee consumption on a per-capita basis—three cups a year versus 363 cups in the U.S.—but further figures from the International Coffee Organization show total consumption grew between 2004 and 2013 at an average annual rate of 16%, outpacing the world average of two percent.
Solamito estimates coffee consumption in China will continue to grow around 20% annually. “The Chinese are moving away from buying Louis Vuitton bags to experiences,” he said. “And coffee culture is a part of that.”