Beginning in 1973
David Kobos opened his first shop in 1973. David began roasting his own coffee shortly thereafter. At that time people were accustomed to paying just pennies per pound for their coffee. The beans David hand roasted would sell for a whopping $2.00 per pound. It was a risky venture that required the very best coffee and a sound economic platform – not only for David but the coffee farmers as well.
“I needed to give incentive to the coffee farmers by paying a premium price for the best coffee beans. I got great coffee, and they got the means to further their livelihoods”
It sounds simple, but the consequences for the farmers could be life changing. When you pay a coffee farmer the standard market price for his crop, the farmer continues living in poverty. And he has neither the means nor the incentive to make improvements. However, when you pay a farmer a premium price for the best coffee beans, the farmer is able to:
~ ensure clean water for irrigation
~ buy organic fertilizers instead of less expensive chemical fertilizers
~ withstand an occasional lower yield during a bad growing season
~ begin to climb free of the cycle of poverty
It was, and remains to this day, a model with lasting impact.