Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023 |
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NIUMILA — The kupuna clutched her bag of Kaua‘i Coffee tightly, content with her winnings at Saturday’s Kaua‘i Coffee Christmas Open House.
“I knew the meanings of all the words, so this is what I won,” she said. “Do you know all the words?”
“Puka” was joined by terms like “luna,” “ko,” “bango,” “pau hana,” “opala,” “kapakahi,” “bugga,” and “kompang” in testing visitors to the open house. The terms were drawn from the sugar plantation legacy of the Kaua‘i Coffee processing facility which was formerly the McBryde Sugar mill.
Kaua‘i Coffee got its start in the early 1800s as McBryde Sugar Co., one of the first sugar growers in Hawai‘i, states its website. The transformation from McBryde Sugar Co. to Kaua‘i Coffee in 1987 represents Hawai‘i’s largest diversified agricultural project in the past 50 years.
Wayne Katayama, president of Kaua‘i Coffee, was pleased with the steady stream of visitors to the open house. The audience for the anticipated arrival of Santa Claus swelled the crowd at the Kaua‘i Coffee Visitor Center.
“This is for the young people,” Katayama said. “They can learn about Kaua‘i Coffee as well as coffee (as an agricultural product).”
Kaua‘i Coffee is currently at the leading edge of coffee production technology, and according to its website, the sole producer of more than half of the coffee grown in the United States.
Katayama was joined by Dirk Soma and Jennifer Ingersol of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce in judging entries in the Kaua‘i Coffee SweetStakes baking
contest where entries featured Kaua‘i Coffee.
“Kaua‘i Community College instructor Steven Nakata asked if I could fill in since he had to take some of the KCC students to O‘ahu for a competition,” Soma said, revealing his background in culinary instruction.
Ingersol, herself a two-time author of cookbooks (available on www.potionforlove.com), modified a recipe from her cookbooks to create Kaua‘i Espresso Roast Coffee Crust Sweet Potato Pie with Koloa Rum Fudge Drizzle. It was available for guests to sample along with the KCC culinary arts student demonstrations featuring a roast duck with Kaua‘i Coffee.
New to the open house was the addition of multiple food trucks, the food outlets moving the 4H Livestock Club petting zoo to an area closer to Santa’s throne. Ross Kleinberg and Mauro Politi of Hanalei Pasta even worked Kaua‘i Coffee into one of their pork dish offerings.
“This is such a great place,” said Santa, arriving in his personalized red Jeep. “I have never seen so many kids with such great smiles and being so happy.”
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee by roaster Johnny Loy blanketed the event. His fresh roasts were packaged on the spot with purchases benefiting the ongoing food drive for the Salvation Army.
Major Mario Reyes of the Salvation Army made a brief appearance to accept a $2,000 check from Chef Ron Miller of the Hukilau Lanai, the winning chef at the Kaua‘i Coffee Celebrity Chef Cookoff for Charity held during the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau Fair.
“Chef Ron selected the Salvation Army as his charity of choice prior to the cookoff,” said Melissa McFerrin, event coordinator for the Kaua‘i Farm Bureau. “The Salvation Army is currently in the midst of all the work it does for the community during the holiday season and because Kaua‘i Coffee, the cookoff for charity title sponsor, is having its Christmas Open House, it’s so fitting we present The Salvation Army with this check to help them with their work.”
The Kaua‘i Farm Bureau is currently coordinating the annual Kaua‘i Made/Kaua‘i Grown holiday event this coming Saturday at KCC.
Darla Domingo of the Kaua‘i Coffee Marketing Department said kama‘aina discounts are available every day at the Kaua‘i Coffee Visitor Center which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 570 Halewili Road, a few miles west of Kalaheo.
Visit www.kauaicoffee.com for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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