In 2013 we were happy to welcome Juan Valdez to Aruba. The company was opening a concept café at the Alhambra Shops, with an opening party in October.
I remember, I was there, as the then charming minister of education cut the ribbon. The company also opened a smaller outlet, equally cute, in the heart of Palm Beach
The chic cafes with seating indoor and outdoor, serve 100% Colombian coffee grown and harvested by Colombian farmers, since 1959. While the Juan Valdez character and his mule Conchita are fictional, they do deliver the message that this is the real deal, not blended with coffee beans from other countries.
At the time, the man and his mule were scheduled to make an appearance at the opening party, and I was looking forward to meeting Conchita’s local incarnation. Alas, they never showed, but the coffee more than compensated for their absence.
Last week, the Grand Café at the Alhambra Shops hosted a small get together having recently been renovated.
I showed up unsuspecting. At the plaza I was greeted by a small crowd sipping nevados and tintos campesinos while listening to a live acoustic music concert by Jonathan “Jeon” Thiel, and his pianist Giendrick Boekhoudt. Surprise.
His dad was filing the performance and the thrilled small audience, was spellbound, under the stars, listening to all favorites, at a private, exclusive performance.
I couldn’t believe my ears. That was fantastic.
These days, you can enjoy truly delicious cups of coffee and specialty drinks at the Alhambra Mall, open from 7am to 10pm, at La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino in the lobby, and soon at Aruba Bank on the main street in Oranjestad. There will be a smaller outlet at the new D’shop, on Sasaki, which would greatly enhance the shopping experience.
At the airport? Sure, in two locations.
The Juan Valdez® Cafe brand represents the thousands of dedicated Colombian coffee growers who go about their work with precision and expertise. Growing coffee is like raising a family it requires patience, love and total commitment.
Juan Valdez is the only internationally recognized coffee brand that belongs to coffee growers. The stores give coffee-lovers the opportunity to experience the unique flavors and aromas of 100% Colombian coffee, including an appealing portfolio of single origin coffees. The friendly baristas prepare hundreds of cups every day, each with pride and passion. The Juan Valdez® Cafe brand represents the quality, values and traditions of Colombian coffee.