Oscar Aldana grew up in Armenia, Quindío, Colombia and moved to the United States when he was 26 years old with dreams of earning an MBA and founding a company that could help create jobs and provide opportunities for people in his home country, while teaching Americans more about the beautiful culture of Colombia.
Throughout childhood and adolescence in Quindío, Oscar was closely connected with the coffee industry in many ways. His grandmother, Carmenza Valderrama, owned a coffee farm where Oscar was exposed to all the intricacies of coffee growing. As a child, Oscar spent countless days at his grandma’s coffee farm where handpicking coffee, wet processing, and sun drying coffee was part of the daily routine. Additionally, Oscar’s father and another family member started up a coffee roasting company in Armenia. They would buy green coffee, roast it, and would sell it in the local market under their own label.
The Colombian coffee industry was thriving until 1989 when the International Coffee Agreement’s quota system was dismantled and coffee prices dropped substantially, forcing many Colombian coffee farmers (especially small farmers) into bankruptcy and to sell their farms. His grandmother, among other friends and classmates, suffered the consequences of this crisis.
Since earning his MBA and founding Karlacá Coffee in 2013, Oscar travels frequently back to his homeland to work with childhood friends and family members, a dream come true. For instance, the first coffee sourced by Karlacá was from Fabian Torres, owner of La Morelia Farm and Oscar’s classmate throughout college. The small coffee farmers that work with Oscar now see Karlaca Coffee as an avenue to not only stay in business and keep their farms, but a way to achieve economic prosperity for their families since Karlacá Coffee's compensation program rewards farmers for quality. Karlacá Coffee pays farmers twice the market price and even more depending on the quality of the coffee they produce.
Karlacá coffee can now be found at several locations in DC area and also shipped nation-wide. Learn more about where we sell our coffees here.