If a over a decade of experience has taught Graham anything…it’s build lasting relationships and partners throughout the business. You never know when they will have an impact on you and teach you something extraordinaire!
Charlemagne Fine Wines
Owner / Importer
Charlemagne is a Pasadena based fine wine importer, wholesaler, retailer, and distributor, founded by Karl Curran, an Irishman who found his way to Pasadena, California after leaving the trading floors of London, New York and Tokyo where he worked as an Inter-Bank currency options broker at various firms including Cantor-Fitzgerald and Tullett-Prebon. Karl who is tri-lingual has had a strong interest in wine since his teens, and his first job after high school was working at the famed Paul Jaboulet Aine estate in the Rhone valley in France. This apprenticeship was cultural and ingrained an approach to the wine business that is very much based on a sense of place and education. The wines chosen for import are based on tradition and vintage variation. It is fascinating that a wine such as Chateau Haut-Marbuzet from Bordeaux could change as much as it does from one year to the next.
The fact is according to Karl, that each vintage is akin to a new son or daughter coming from the same DNA, but with different characteristics. It could be argued that the wines are like us, in that we change every year, as does the wine. How much fun is there in learning about ourselves through a case of fine wine? Charlemagne would like to gather like-minded people and explore the difference where we envisage adventure learning and fun. Vive la difference.
Lefthand Coffee Roasters
Chef / Head Roaster / Entrepreneur
It began back in 2005 in the region of Pang Paek, Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. While exploring a local Lisu village we were gifted some natural process beans by one of the farmers. We experimented by roasting them in traditional ways; clay pots, woks suspended over open flames and cast iron pans. While this didn’t produce the best cup it allowed us to profile the beans to achieve a greater understanding of Thai arabica. This was a humble beginning that taught us a lot about the complexity of coffee and the importance of quality equipment; which further motivated my father Dan Joseph to design and build our own custom roaster.
When coming up with a name for our brand we decided to go with Left Hand for a couple main reasons. First; going back to my childhood growing up in the Left-Hand canyon, Boulder, CO, which was named after Chief Left Hand (Niwot) of the Arapaho tribe. Second; the name was inspired by the Left Hand is the hand of Alchemy, Wisdom and believed to be connected with creative minds. For us, coffee is the prime example of modern alchemy, in the sense of transforming a plant into one of the most sought-after substances in the world. We focus on the farm practice, human connection and taking the noncommercial approach to business which in a sense makes us feel like the left-hand population set apart from the masses.
The hobby turned into the business around 2012, at which point our focus was to support family-run farms and produce the best coffee we could get with what we had. We did discover the potential of high elevation coffee growing throughout northern Thailand, but the journey had just begun. We understood there was a lot of work to be done by identifying the different varietals, educating ourselves and the farmers about processing and then developing complementary roasts. Almost ten years have passed and we are pleased to have witnessed the evolution, honored to have been part of it and excited for what is next to come.
All in all our goal is clear, support the local community, produce good coffee and share it with the world!