Company finds plenty of prospective local employees

WAIPOULI — Lunch had to be put on hold one day last week.

“We had two people waiting when we opened up the application process,” said Carleen Choo, human resource director for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

“And, then, there was another, and another. It’s been pretty steady.”

With Kaua’i enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in the state, this was a matter of concern for Choo, who arrived here from O’ahu.

But the steady stream of prospective employees waylaid those concerns.

“We want Kaua’i residents to have every opportunity to be employed here,” Choo said between applicants.

With about eight weeks remaining before Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opens its doors for business in the Waipouli Town Center adjacent to Foodland, Choo said she welcomes the opening scheduled for the end of May.

The opening coincides with the arrival of young summer help in the form of high-school students and returning college students seeking summer employment.

Choo said that, after Friday, people can still apply for the variety of full- and part-time openings for the first Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf store on Kaua’i.

The store needs a full-time assistant store manager, shift supervisors, lead barista, and baristas as well.

“We are looking for positive, energetic, friendly, and customer-service-oriented individuals,” she said.

Following the Friday job fair, Choo said applicants may now visit www.coffeebeanhawaii.com for an application that can be faxed to the O’ahu office at 1-808-735-3841.

Additionally, Choo said interested applicants can schedule an appointment by calling 1-808-739-3385. She said that, if there are a number of interested applicants for a given day, she’ll schedule a visit on Kaua’i for interviews.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was founded in 1963 by Herbert Hyman, with a dedication to excellence and quality, she said. Those efforts made him the founding father of gourmet coffee in California.

Since then, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has grown into one of the largest privately-owned, family-run coffee and tea companies in the world, with more than 315 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, and many other parts of the world.

Choo said The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opened its first Hawai’i store last year, and since then has opened three stores on O’ahu, located at the Hawaii Kai Foodland, Kailua, and in the Manoa Marketplace.

The Waipouli store scheduled to open at the end of May will be the first on Kaua’i. Choo indicated there is a possibility of more stores on the island.

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