For years, Miami has had a stranglehold on America. Sure, they had their crappy Starbucks and fancy, yuppy coffee roasters. But we had cafe Cubano, cafe con leche, cortaditos, la gasolina de la tarde.....
But now J.M. Smucker has bought the local -- actually historically Cuban -- brand that has long made our city unique, Rowland Coffee Roasters.
The firm had been run by the Souto family for decades and had its beginning in Cuba in 1865. Gringos weren't even drinking coffee back then. We were too busy picking up the dead after the Civil War. Which is to say: These guys know coffee. They are a horrible loss.
Out in Doral, where they roasted the coffee, the air has smelled sweet for decades. It was an industrial neighborhood, but that didn't matter, because you'd stick your head in the air and breathe in the beautiful smell of coffee roasting.
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They picked up the Pilon brand in the 1960s and spread it through Miami and to a degree, to the rest of America. They also grabbed the Medaglio D'Oro brand, which made em look Italian.
Rowland was the biggest coffee roaster marketing to Hispanics. Now it joins the company that makes Dunkin' Donuts and Folgers. They plan to close the Doral joint and make our Miami brands in New Orleans.
Ay que triste! Guess we'll have to start drinking rum in the afternoon.