Holualoa Kona Coffee Company grows certified organic coffee and processes from ripe beans through to roasted coffee for sale at his on-farm retail outlet. “We have control of all stages of production, which means we can maintain quality. It is very fulfilling to take our coffee all the way to a final product,” explains Twigg-Smith when reflecting on the wet and dry milling and roasting facilities he has developed over the years. For him, producing products that he can take pride in is much more than earning a living, it’s a lifestyle that gives satisfaction beyond what money can provide.Desmond Twigg-Smith of
Thirteen years ago, Bob and Janice Stanga bought property in the Laupahoehoe area of Hawai'i Island with the idea of creating a niche food for island chefs raising either mushrooms or edible snails. Mushrooms won and The Hamakua Heritage Mushroom Farm became a reality.
The enterprise started small and eventually grew to fill a 16,000 square-foot production building that houses their own sterile tissue culture laboratory, incubation rooms and six indoor growing rooms. The facility is equipped with automated specialty mushroom cultivation equipment and climate control installations, and is where they produce a variety of mushroom species of exceptional quality.
During the last two weeks of March, over two hundred island residents took part in a statewide workshop series to educate small-scale farmers and producers about adding value to their enterprises. The workshops, sponsored by the State of Hawai'i Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Program, were presented by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love, Hawai'i Island locals and leaders of the sustainable food movement in Hawai'i.
The workshop, "Value-Added Innovation for Hawai'i Growers: Making the Family Farm Profitable" focused on ways to enhance locally grown and produced products in order to create more profitable and sustainable small agricultural businesses in Hawai'i. Workshops were held in Hilo and Kona, as well as on Kaua'i, O'ahu, and Maui, and registration was free of charge.
The second annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival took place Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School in Puna. Over 2,500 people attended the event this year, which included many well-attended cultural practitioner demonstration, games, chef demos, a cooking contest, and much more.
See the captioned festival slideshow here.
When Tom Palusak started working as produce manager in 2007, he felt it was important that local produce was well represented in Choice Mart’s offerings. Many of the store’s customers are local farmers from the area, and it was only natural and appropriate to give customers the opportunity to buy local. Four years later, about 50% of Choice Mart’s produce comes from Hawai‘i farmers.
If you look behind the scenes at any successful value-added farm enterprise in Hawai‘i (there are many), you will find that their most important resource is people. Entrepreneurs are the "heart," "soul" and "brains" of the operation. The resourcefulness and tenacity to run a small farm comes from the people who run it. Here are a few characteristics of successful value-added farm enterprises.
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