March 31, 2013 | 5:53 pm | Print
Above: a coffee farm in Haiti
By the Caribbean Journal staff
It’s not easy to find Haitian coffee on the shelves of stores in the United States — but Fabien Dodard is trying to change that.
Through his new company, Kafe Pa Nou, Dodard is looking to tap into a million-strong market of Diaspora Haitians in the US — and help introduce one of Haiti’s proudest products to the larger American market.
“There are more than a million Haitians living in the United States today, and many of them are consuming coffee that is not their native coffee,” said Dodard, CEO and Co-Founder of Kafe Pa Nou, in a release. “Haitians have an appreciation for high-quality coffee and we want to bring that quality of coffee to people everywhere, no matter their location. Kafe Pa Nou allows people to do this, without having to buy a plane ticket to Haiti.”
The company, an online retailer and wholesale distributor, will ship its first orders by April 12.
The ultimate goal is to increase demand for Haitian coffee and, subsequently, increase local production in Haiti to meet that demand.
Right now, the Kafe Pa Nou is shipping Haiti’s Rebo and Cafe Selecto.
“By drinking this coffee, people are contributing to a stronger Haitian economy, one cup at a time,” said Dodard, who founded the company with Jean-René Faustin and Jean-Sebastien Dodard.
Pa Nou is the latest of a wave of companies and organizations working to bring Haitian coffee to a wider global market.
Last year, Whole Foods Market began distributing Haitian coffee at its stores in Florida.
And Saint Thomas University’s Centre for Peace and Justice has, for several years, been helping to import coffee from Haiti’s Cafeiere et Cacouyere du Nord’Ouest Coffee Cooperative.