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Last Update: Sunday December 17, 2017

Key Idea: Do What You Know

The Souto Brothers were smart to learn about the coffee business from their father.  The  knowledge and experience they gained even as children helped them achieve success.   Home...

Key Question:

A: 

We learn from the Souto family that is it best to start a business around what you already know.  If you are young, you should choose what fascinates you most and stick to it until you find the niche or opportunity that makes you rich.

Questions for this clip: 1 | 2 | 3

Think about it

Where is your education lacking?
Where is your experience lacking?
Who would you like to learn from?
What do you need to learn now so that you can grow your business?

Clip from: Cafe Pilon, Rowland Coffee & the Souto family

Meet the three Souto brothers; lovers of freedom.

Miami: In this episode, we open with pictures from 1961 just before Castro forced his ways into the homes and business of this family. And though he took over everything, he could not take over their spirit. This family left behind all their worldly possessions but came to the USA with their greatest possessions -- their integrity, their love of family and friends, their creativity, their love of Cuban espresso coffee, and the knowledge needed to rebuild their family business from scratch.

Meet the Souto family, owners of Rowland Coffee Roasters in Miami.  They started with a coffee delivery business, bought Rowland, then Cafe Pilon, then Cafe Bustelo,  Medaglia D'Oro Espresso, Java Cabana and more.

Go to all the key ideas and video of this episode...

In memory of José Angel ''Pepe'' Souto, the Patriarch of the family who died at the age of 91 on November 18, 2007.

Cafe Bustelo Inc.

Rowland Coffee Roasters, Inc. Javacabana.com, BusteloCool.com

5605 NW 82nd Ave
Miami, FL 33166-4000

Visit our web site: http://cafebustelo.com

Toll Free: 800-990-9039

Business Classification:
Beverages: Coffee

Year Founded: 1962

Do What You Know

Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant, and this is the place for learning about how business works. We travel all over the country to meet the fascinating founders of companies that year after year after year serve customers and create jobs.


We call what will you experience now a Master Class. Your teachers are always men and women who have lived through what it is they speak about. Let's now visit a family that is rather new to the US, but brings a proud reputation and skill that we can all learn from.

(Voiceover) These men have it all. Their company, Cafe Pilon, is the premiere Cuban espresso coffee roaster in the world. Their company has happy customers.

Unidentified Man #1: Good coffee, Cuban.

Unidentified Man #2: It's Cuban coffee.

Unidentified Man #1: It's the best.

Unidentified Man #3: I love Cuban.

Unidentified Man #1: The best.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) They have happy, loyal employees.

JEAN-PAUL: Well, they treat me like brother and father and sister.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) And, most importantly, they have each other.

ANGEL SOUTO: (Voiceover) Of course, Alberto--he's likes to always come out with new ideas.

JOSE ENRIQUE SOUTO: (Voiceover) Angel, he watches the customers like a hawk. You take a customer away from Angel, he goes crazy.

ANGEL: (Voiceover) Jose Enrique is our oldest brother. You always look up to the oldest brother.

HATTIE: You do?

ANGEL: Yes.

HATTIE: So he hasn't let you down yet?

ANGEL: No, not yet. No. I don't think he ever will.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Why so much success?

JOSE ENRIQUE: You got to want it. And then you have to go out and get it. It won't come to you, you have to go out there and get it. There it is, the best. Nothing but the best.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) In Miami's Little Havana, it seems everyone's drinking coffee, and much of it comes from Miami-based Rowland Roasters, which does business under the name of its most popular brand, Cafe Pilon. It generates $70 million in annual sales and has 175 employees. Owners Jose Enrique, Jose Alberto and Angel Souto are brothers who have coffee in their DNA.

ANGEL: (Voiceover) I drink every morning Cafe con Leche. It's milk with espresso.

JOSE ALBERTO SOUTO: OK. I have four a day. And it makes me work harder.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Even though the Souto family has been in the roasting business since 1865, they had to start over with nothing when they came to Miami.

JOSE ENRIQUE: We came here in 1960, when Mr. Castro took over, and he took everything in Cuba and he made it all owned by the government. So it's a very, very difficult situation, and I ask myself the question sometimes. How would I react if here in the United States, somebody would come to me and all of a sudden say, `Hey, this is no longer yours. Now it belongs to the government.' Now it belongs to somebody else without you doing anything to deserve that. And it's really very hard to imagine going through that period.

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