Honesty, respect and a true love for coffee are all qualities shared by brothers Stephen and David Shirley and their father, St. Clair.
They are the family behind the distinctive Stoneleigh Coffee brand, with six farms in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica.
The brothers - along with their sister Sophia - were raised in St. Andrew, Jamaica, where they all still live with their own families.
The siblings grew up carefully watching their father and Stoneleigh founder St. Clair Shirley devotedly cultivate coffee beans on the Blue Mountain slopes, learning from his unwavering work ethic and meticulous attention to detail.
This year, 81-year-old St. Clair plans to retire from the day to day operations of running the coffee farm after 41 years in the coffee industry, handing the reigns of the Estate to his sons. As Chairman he will remain very much at the heart of the business and will continue to enjoy visiting the farms and interacting with the farmers, ensuring that the supreme quality that has become synonymous with the Stoneleigh brand is maintained.
In honor of Father’s Day, the brothers pay tribute to their father and the special relationship they have with him.
“Dad has devoted more than half of his life to his love of coffee since he entered the business at age 40 and we’ve worked alongside him for the past 20 years.
We’ve learned so much from him. He is a man of integrity, honesty and fairness and I like to think he has passed these characteristics on to us. We would love to pass them on to our kids, too.
At 81 years old, he still has the same passion for coffee as when he started out and he’s determined to be actively involved in operations as Chairman until he retires.
When David and I take over, we’ve got a lot to live up to. We hope we can do Dad proud by continuing to build on his success.”
“We’re such a close knit family and I think that is the secret of our success.
We are all independent thinkers and can be really honest with each other. We all want the very best for the business, too. And of course, we all love coffee!
You can’t help but be inspired by my Dad’s dedication and hard work, his attention to detail, his drive for perfection.
He also has an immense amount of love, both for his family and for his employees. I’m so proud of the respect he shows to all of his workers and how fairly he treats them.
Dad has left us with an amazing legacy because he’s an amazing man.”