Spotlight: Kevin Arita
For the sixth edition of the Spotlight series, AL DÍA conducted an interview with Kevin Candelario Arita, the President of Candelario’s Coffee.
In a 2013 article titled, “Young boy who migrated alone to the U.S. grew to publish his own book,” AL DÍA News told the story of then 18-year-old author Kevin Candelario Arita.
After the release of his book, “Lost in America,” Arita made national and international news headlines again, this time as an entrepreneur for a joint venture in the coffee industry.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Arita and his former high school teacher, Dr. Richard “Dick” Stafford, started Yonah Coffee. The company had two purposes: to help Arita obtain a work visa to remain legally in the U.S., and to raise money for his college fund.
We decided to follow up with Arita for an update on where life has taken him since AL DÍA last spoke to him almost seven years ago.
Check out the Q&A below:
First, I would like to source the coffee directly from farmers and at the same time educate them about how to better harvest their crops, how to retain the quality, and how the market truly works. I have been doing my research and what I found is that when the price of coffee goes down, farmers stop caring about the quality. I want to be able to educate farmers that although coffee is a commodity, if you have specialty coffee beans, you can sell them at a higher price point in the event the market price is down. On the other hand, I also want to educate consumers about what they’re drinking. There are a lot of misconceptions about coffee. One of my favorites is when people ask for the “strongest coffee,” but coffee doesn’t work like that. Coffee has caffeine, but it all comes down to rations and to how it’s brewed.