Oh, the People You'll Meet!

   In my life, I've met people. Some I never think about again. Some, I wonder what happened to them. Some, I wonder if they ever think about me. And then there are some I wish I never had to think about again.

   But I do.

     I have always thought of a coffee shop as a church-- of sorts. A place for fellowship. A community of individuals brought together in a place of worship(for me, anyways)  A place where wit & wisdom flow. Where we talk story. We discuss finance, state affairs, common gossip, and a bit of low brow comedy. I have met magnificent people and made personal connections that will last a lifetime. Ordinary encounters made extraordinary. 

   Coffee is the tie that binds us...at least in my life.

   Coffee--brewed. Hearts--warmed. My job here is done. :)

Insomnia in Waikiki

I am something right now, but I wouldn't call it "functional."

Afternoon Delight

Damn that late afternoon espresso..it is like the Che Guevara in my revolution against sleep.

Popped our coffee cherry...we did.

On a hike to Maunawili Falls on the windward side of O'ahu, we came to an old coffee grove...the trees were thin under the dense canopy but easy to identify by their shiny waxy leaves. We found some had green cherries attached to their scrawny branches. 

 We searched for a while trying to find one with a ripe red cherry. How our behavior must have looked to passerby's makes me laugh now. Probably as bizarre as I look when I play in the snow.

Spotted bits of red in the lush green landscape...where the canopy allowed more sunlight to pass though. Wild coffee, long since abandoned...unkempt yet beautiful.

We snapped a few pictures...popped a few in our mouth and headed up the mountain with renewed vigor. 

Rise like the Phoenix from the ashes...

The Birth(or Rebirth) of Pono Roasters

We chose the Phoenix to represent our coffee roasting business' rebirth. The Phoenix's ability to be reborn from its own ashes seemed very àpropos. Our path, fraught with obstacles yet we emerged from the cinders stronger.

"It's best to have failure happen early in life, It wakes up the Phoenix bird in you so you rise from the ashes." - Anne Baxter
"Success wouldn't taste so good, without failure as an appetizer."  -from a fortune cookie

Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat?

I haven't had much time to blog lately...a lot has happened in the past 9 months. Our coffee shop closed after a long ten year run. We really tried to make it work...tried everything, even radio advertising, shameless self promoting, begging and even a guilt trip or two. In the end, it was just sheer exhaustion that finally did us in. We were over worked, under paid and heading into our slow season. We decided we needed a change...we made plans to sell everything and go back to long haul truck driving. We used to drive truck when we first got married...for 3 1/2 years, we traveled the country. 46 states. Quite an adventure. We would reminisce about our gypsy days. It had to be better than our current situation. At least we would be out seeing stuff...instead of SSDD. We were telling all of our friends and family of our new plan, half thought we were giving up, the other half though we had gone nutters. So we started making our exit plan. 
My brother, Eric, heard of our plans and called us up. He lives in Hawaii and suggested we sell everything, ship our coffee roaster to Hawaii and give it a go out there...Hawaii? Hmm, yeah, that sounds like a dream...could we really do that? Nah..But the more we thought about it, the more we felt like we just couldn't pass up the opportunity. So, we did some research...Florida's unemployment rate was 15%, nearing 20% in our county. Hawaii's unemployment rate was only 6%. We would have to go into debt even more than we already were, just to start trucking again...not to mention, we would have to work for a crappy company for at least 6 months before we could team drive together...trucking was looking less like a good idea and thoughts of Hawaii filled our minds. We started watching the new "Hawaii 5-0" series we had saved up on our dvr...it was funny that we hadn't had a chance to watch them yet and we had a whole entire season saved....Well, that's what did it. I can't even remember what the story lines were...we just watched the scenery and daydreamed of paradise...that's all she wrote. Made selling all our stuff for pennies on the dollar less painful..Made closing the business less painful. We had a renewed excitement for what the future held. 
That was the hottest damn summer ever...business equipment sales, moving sales, garage sales, craigslist sales, even sold our prize possession comic. 

Painful. Very painful. Had to be pried from my hands. But, it was what funded our trip, shipped the roaster and financed for our fresh start.  August 15...we arrived in Hawaii. We were home. 

We had a month or so to explore the island while we looked for jobs. Finally found a coffee consulting job for the both of us. Pay wasn't that great but we got to move into the same building we worked in. 14th floor. 

Elevator commute to work. Office. Company credit card. And the opportunity to co-manage the cafe when it opened. 401k, profit sharing, health insurance, vacation time(what is that?) Truly a dream job. 

We are roasting again.
Blessed to find a place to set up the coffee roaster. We share a space with another coffee roaster. They are a pretty big deal coffee company in Honolulu. Been here for years. We set up our baby roaster right next to his ginormous monstrosity of a roaster. Started the business in Hawaii...it was too easy. No bureaucracy, no red tape, no hoops to jump though. Wha??? 

The trying times, the sadness of business failure, the uncertainty...all for this. We are blessed. 

Faith in God.
 A little stupid courage. 
A whole lotta moxie. 

Two haoles living pono...it was NOT "all for naught".