The Story Behind Café Don Pablo Coffee


Originally published in print version in Parent News in October 2010…

I talked so much last month about my coffee tasting party that I wasn’t able to tell you much about the Café Don Pablo company history. I’ll blame most of that on Darron and Eliana Burke, the owners of the company. Their conversation was so interesting that I felt I needed to tell you about the party first. Since last month I’m hoping you’ve had the opportunity to purchase a bag of CDP coffee. If you did, why don’t you go make a cup before you read on? It will make the article that much more enjoyable.

But first, I promised to tell you the story about how Darron Burke became Don Pablo.

About 20 years ago Darron Burke moved from the frozen wasteland known as New England to the sunny coast of south Florida in search of adventure. With a growing interest in the Latin culture found in Miami he soon met his future wife, Eliana, who was born and raised in Colombia, South America. She has a rich family history entrenched in the growing and roasting of coffee.

While in Colombia visiting Eliana’s family and friends, Darron also fell in love with the beauty of the lush green mountains, fertile valleys, vibrant cities, and friendly and welcoming people. The couple spent much of the trip on coffee plantations and in roasteries, and Darron quickly developed an affinity for coffee. When given his first cup of fresh, medium-dark roasted coffee, he was taken aback by how delicious and different it was from the coffee that was available back in the U.S. 

The nickname “Pablo” was given to Darron by his wife’s family. As Spanish speakers, they were unable to pronounce his first name properly, and considered it a tongue twister. The topic of tongue twisters was brought up over dinner one day with the entire family, and Burke took a stab at a humorous one, the subject of which was a hapless character named Pablo. The mood was right, the tongue twister was funny, and Burke’s pronunciation and Spanish accent was so far off, it brought down the house. Darron immediately became known as “Pablo” among family and friends, and after purchasing and wearing the Cafetero’s hat, as seen in the logo, everyone began to call him “Don Pablo.”

In addition to the Columbian coffee from Eliana’s home, the Burkes also import coffee from Guatemala and Brazil for their regular lines. They also offer the Signature Blend, which combines all three into a classic blend that goes down just right. They offer additional varieties in their wholesale coffees to businesses and restaurants.

Now, back to the coffee itself. I hope you enjoyed your cup of Café Don Pablo while reading this article. If you didn’t, shame on you. It’s alright though. You can still run out to the Costco and buy some or order it online.

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