Wife and husband business partners Kim and Keith have been traveling internationally as a part of Keith’s wine import trade for years, to countries large and small, down and across, always soaking in far more than just the tastings and dinners and winery tours. Having spent six years working closely and traveling with the dearly-departed English beer and whisky writer Michael Jackson, we have always appreciated the style that he taught us, being far more interested in the people, their families, and the history, with the beverage being quite secondary to the much bigger picture of time, heritage, and passion.
This resulted in a very direct hop to wanting to understand more about the cork industry while on numerous wine trips to what was becoming a favorite destination, Portugal. Beautiful products in village shops and stunning walks through cork oak groves turned us into curious fans in no time. The warmth and generosity of the Portuguese people made it even more attractive, and an entirely enjoyable experience, to dig deeper and see how we might be involved. Our hopeless entrepreneurial spirit and complete trust in the products and the people told us to go for it, and in July of 2015, Cork Karma was born.
If you had an inside track at working with wonderful people in a proud and growing industry, and a product that is beautiful, durable, sustainable, and environmentally positive in every way, wouldn’t you? We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have the opportunity to be advocates for both the families and the countryside that give cork to us. In addition, we are able to transport the products to the U.S. by adding our supplies to our wine containers that are already moving from Portugal to the states; the lightweight nature of cork means that we can simply have the boxes placed on top of the wine stacks at no significant change in weight whatsoever. So not only are we adding no additional carbon footprint impact to the journey of over 5,000 miles (we live and work in the awesome Seattle area, as we have for over 30 years), but the cost of transportation is dramatically lower than if dedicated shipments had to be arranged, and we can offer more reasonable pricing on the very cool and unique items that we select, and in some cases, have produced exclusively for Cork Karma.