Where were you born/raised?
I was Born in Barranquilla Colombia and my family immigrated to Naples Florida when I was 4 years old, where I spent my childhood.
What did you study?
I have a MBA from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Bachelors Degree in International Finance and Marketing from The University of Miami. Go Canes.
Your passion in coffee, how it started?
Being born in Colombia, to Colombian parents, I would say that coffee is in my blood. I don’t think I can recall a morning when my parents didn’t have three to four cups of coffee, and I won’t lie: at a younger age I was not really a big fan. My mother and sister would always drink Café con Leche, and I would stick to the good, old orange juice.
I first really fell in love with coffee when I first learned to cup and evaluate it. As a college student, I drank coffee for the same reasons everyone else did: to stay awake and study. But during the summer of my sophomore year, I was working as an accounting/finance intern at a First Colony Coffee and Tea in Virginia Beach. There, I was given the opportunity to sit and evaluate coffee with the company’s cuppers and buyers. Sitting at that cupping table I first realized that coffee was an amazing and complex creature with so many subtle and complex nuances.
From that day, I have loved coffee for all that it is - a way to provide caffeine and that little pick me up, all of the lives it touches and enriches throughout the coffee process, as well as those powerful rides it takes my palate through.
What is your role at Honolulu Coffee?
I am a wearer of many hats at Honolulu Coffee. I oversee both of our farms in Kona, the production/packaging team, the roasting/coffee team, I also do the purchasing of all goods, the logistics both at the National and International level as well as the Quality Control, on the Coffee Beverage Level.
Where have you been?
I would say that Coffee has taken me to some amazing places. I once did a road trip all the way through Mexico and Central America, stopping at coffee farms in each country along the way. I have also been lucky enough to visit almost all the Coffee producing countries in South America as well as a few in Africa, such as Kenya and Rwanda.
Life is too short to drink mediocre coffee.