The American dream is alive on the First Coast in a cup of Joe.
The owner of Growers Alliance coffee shop in St. Augustine immigrated to America about 20 years ago from Kenya. Martin Kabaki grew up on a coffee farm there.
When he immigrated to America, he worked as a dishwasher at Panera Bread and saw how much Americans loved coffee.
“Most of the coffee growers back home are very poor. Here I am in America and Americans love coffee. Why is there a disconnect?” Kabaki said. “I said to myself I am going to do whatever it takes to start a company in the U.S. that sells coffee.”
He did that. He and his wife have been running Growers Alliance for 10 years and for the past three years they’ve been in their brick-and-mortar store that fills the space of a former Texaco gas station in St. Augustine.