Dear friends, for this Father's Day, we wanted to re-introduce you to Rusty Obra, the late founder of our company -- and leader of our family.
Many of you learned about Rusty's Hawaiian from the awards our coffee has won. What many of you haven't seen is our why: This man, who was as dedicated to Ka'u coffee as he was to us as a husband and father.
Rusty would be proud of our accomplishments, but his vision was far bigger than our company's list of awards. He wanted Ka'u farmers to succeed in coffee, so our community could transform its failed sugar plantations into an enclave of thriving small entrepreneurs.
In the last weeks of his life, as friends and family called and visited the hospital from morning until night, Rusty took a moment to gather us -- wife Lorie, children Joan and Rusty Jr. -- for a final family meeting.
"When I'm gone, I don't want you to be bitter," he said. "Yes, I have cancer, but these things just happen in life. Just because I got sick doesn't mean that God loves me any less."
We were all quiet. And then he spoke these words: "Remember, I will always be with you, guiding you."
Almost 14 years after his death, those words ring true. Lorie still talks to Rusty as she hand sorts coffee beans. When we enclose handwritten notes with our coffee shipments, Rusty's heart is in those words. He may no longer be here physically, but he's still very much here. And today, it is our honor to share him with you.