The Life of
a Coffee Farmers Wife
by Deepa Alman
Farmerís wife Deepa Alban.
For seven years, I was happily married to Joe Alban,
an orthopedic surgeon, when one day in 1994, I found
myself owning a Kona coffee farm with him. I knew he
had been dreaming of owning a coffee farm in the Kona
district, but little did I know how it would completely
change my life.
Life before the farm had been a leisure; living in
a beach house, waking up whenever, painting as a self
taught local Hawaiian artist, and traveling around the
world. I guess I never paid attention whether it was
a Tuesday or a Friday. Then, over-night, here at our
20-acre farm where the world's first trellis coffee
is produced, suddenly every day became a Monday!
So there went my late morning beauty sleep. Previously,
my husband would awaken at 3 AM to answer calls from
the local emergency rooms. Now I awaken at 3 AM to answer
calls from east coast buyers who think, if it's 9 AM
in New York it must be 9 AM at the other end of my telephone.
My everyday clothing changed from high heels and designer
gowns, to denim jeans, t-shirts and mis-matched socks.
My exercise regimen has also taken a different path.
I was envious of mainland wives with personal fitness
trainers, so I found my own farmers brand personal-trainer;
four legged trainers, Peaberry, our adorable miniature
donkey and Mila, Tiare and Ikaika, our canine pets.
24 hr fitness is no longer a club, now it's just another
of my daily duties, chasing our dear pets around the
Joe Alban with
trellis grown Kona coffee.
Being in charge of sales, marketing, and overall administration,
my day starts with a million things to do; following
up on orders, communicating with stores, working with
our twelve employees, and constantly putting out fires.
Most of the time I feel like a truck ran over me at
least once before the end of the day. Then the next
morning, while enjoying breakfast on the lanai I see
our beautiful coffee trees on a gentle slope over-looking
the painted Kona Coast, turning toward my husband I
see the twinkle in his eye and the tiredness somehow
Amidst all the challenges of owning a business, producing
one of the world's most precious agricultural commodities,
the rewards are great. I simply can't put a monetary
value on the experiences and friendship I continue to
cultivate with the people I meet. From the friends who
also find themselves in this predicament, to the thousands
who have come to love Kona Coffee, life is short but
the coffee is Oh so wonderful.
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appeared originally in Coffee Times print magazine and
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