The King Carlos Story
As legend has it, King Carlos' Coffee Empire was born in 1878 when Antonio Pinzon, the father of Carlos, established the first large coffee plantation in the central Columbian area of Caldas, a mountainous zone where even today roads and communications are tenuous.
Carlos dedicated himself to extending the family's plantation holdings. During one Colombian civil war, he bought land cheaply; not only in Caldas but also in the Antioquia and Valley regions.
Prior to WWI, Colombia's coffee export business was a hazardous and primitive affair - green beans were transported by foot and by mule down from the mountains along tracks that were often impassable in the rains. The coffee was then freighted by river steamers to the coast for export, taking consignments months to reach to reach Europe and the USA.
To remedy this, the Coffee King opened an office in New York, the first of its kind. This was the pivotal moment for Carlos, so much so that between 1905-1925 he was Colombia's dominant exporter, shipping out as much as 40% of the country's coffee output.
After Carlos died in New York at the age of 51 his coffin, on route to his homeland, was received with all but state honours. More than 200 horsemen accompanied to his resting place.
Colombia's King Carlos had returned home, and the tribute to King Carlos continues today.