Hands on, HI Joe!

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A new addition to the skyline of the Kauai Community Market as the HI Joe! tent sprouted on one of the parking lot islands at the Kauai Community College.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    People flock to the HI Joe! tent during the Kauai Community Market at the Kauai Community College parking lot.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kauai Community College entrepreneur class students Joh Bisarra-Kaleiohi, Kassundra Dasalia, Ammon Ho‘opi‘i-Akau, Lei Saio, and Lincoln Emery man the HI Joe! tent, Saturday at the Kauai Community College parking lot.

PUHI — “HI Joe!” is about coffee, said Danita Martinez, a shopper at the Kauai Community Market Saturday at Kauai Community College.

“Ah, ‘Joe,’ ‘coffee.’ I never put the two together,” said Elvrine Chow, a vendor at the market that is a partnership between the Kauai County Farm Bureau and the Kauai Community College. “I get it, now. I’ll have to go check it out when I want coffee.”

HI Joe! appeared as a product of the Kauai Community College entrepreneur class.

“We were ready by 8 a.m.,” said Dirk Soma, class instructor who watched the crew of five students go through the process from ordering to service. “We had to get here early to brew the coffees, and we were ready to go by 8 o’clock. This is all part of putting concept into practice, and this pop up is just the first time we’re doing this.”

HI Joe! offers only island grown and roasted coffees, its offering ranging from two types from Kauai Coffee Company, a pair of flavors from MauiGrown Coffee, a pair of flavors from the Waialua Estate Coffee, and one flavor from the Volcanic Coffee Company. The offering covers the range of basic coffee in either medium or dark roast, to some exotic brews that tease the tastebuds with the hint of mint.

“The idea is to keep it simple,” Soma said. “We only work with coffee that’s grown and roasted within the Hawaiian Islands. As the program grows, we plan on adding a finance module. This is a learn-as-you go program, putting concepts the students learn in the classroom into real-life practice.”

No sooner than Soma’s explanation, a customer wanted to know if there was decaffeinated coffee available.

Customers looking for the caffeine fix while waiting on the opening of the Saturday market thronged to the tent set up on one of the parking lot islands.

“This is the best way to learn,” said Ammon Ho‘opi‘i-Akau, a student in the class. “One day, I plan to run my own place, and this hands-on learning really shows you some of the tricks to make things work.”

HI Joe! will be available this Saturday, and Oct. 5 before pausing to assess and digest the learning experiences of its operation. It plans to re-open on Oct. 26, Nov. 2, and Nov. 9. HIJoe will follow the hours of the Kauai Community Market, having product available shortly before the 9:30 a.m. market opening, and closing down at 1 p.m.

“This is part of my therapy to get back into the system,” said Lincoln Emery, a student.

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