Originally Posted: December 2018 Issue
Coffee del Rey owner Kimberly Marcaccini graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2013 with a sociology degree.
Coffee del Rey owner Kimberly Marcaccini was 8 years old when she had her first taste of coffee. In her Brazilian family, coffee time meant talking and togetherness, and she was eager to join in. She asked her mom for a cup. “It was basically milk with a splash of coffee,” Marcaccini recalls. “But since then, I’ve been obsessed.”
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2013 with a sociology degree, Marcaccini moved to Korea to teach English. Seoul has more than 18,000 coffee shops, and every day after work, she visited a new one. She was fascinated by the camaraderie and cultural exchange, and decided that opening a shop of her own in Seoul was the perfect way to meld her interest in sociology and her passion for coffee.
It was also a way to carry on a family tradition that began long before her first cup. Marcaccini’s grandparents picked coffee cherries in Brazil, and her maternal grandfather often roasted coffee over an open flame. When he was 10 years old, Marcaccini’s father braved harsh weather and trees swarming with wasps to help his parents pick the fruit. Coffee was their livelihood; their way of life.
Marcaccini’s plans for a Korean café fell through, so she returned to Texas and set out to gain experience in the business. By chance she came upon Plano-based roaster Coffee del Rey and asked the owner, Larry McPherson, if he was hiring. He wasn’t. “That’s OK,” she told him. “I can work for free.” READ MORE