Kona Earth Coffee Farm is for sale.
6 Apr 2015
The farm is no longer for sale. This is the story of when it was for sale.
I remember the day I first saw the farm: December 13, 2004. It certainly doesn't feel like it was ten years ago. It was a beautiful, warm day, just like every other day here in Hawaii. The real estate market was booming at the time so any property with acreage would sell almost the instant it hit the market. I had been looking for a long time and it felt like I was never going to find any property I wanted.
Out of all the coffee farms I had considered, there was only one that was even close to what I was looking for. Even that was a stretch because that "farm" had some serious issues. Despite looking nice in the listing, when I explored the property in person I was disappointed. The coffee trees were in sad shape and the house was even worse. The land was steep and rocky with poor soil and a lot of unusable areas. Looking back now I realize how many problems there really were and how big of a mistake I almost made. At the time I didn't realize how big of a mistake I was about to make. I was eager and determined and I knew that if I wanted a Kona coffee farm that fit in my budget, I'd have to deal with some issues.
I was close to making an offer but decided to spend a day on the farm helping the owner do some farm work and getting to know the place better. At one point the owner casually mentioned that another "very similar farm" would be coming on the market soon for a much higher price. He was trying to pressure me into making a high priced offer. I tried to ignore his comment.
That night I went home and did some research, finding the other farm he had mentioned. I intended to make a list of all the reasons why that other farm was worth more money and why I wouldn't raise my offer price for his place. I called the owner of the other farm and asked if I could make a quick visit. The response was "It's not listed on the market yet but we'll be here tomorrow getting it ready for an open house so I suppose you can come by then if you'd like."
My mother, who was very excited about the possibility of her grandkids moving to the Big Island, offered to drive. As we turned up the farm's driveway it was immediately obvious that this place was in much better shape than the one I had been looking at. There were still some major issues such as the higher price, no processing facilities, and a serious lack of recent maintenance, but I also saw a lot of potential. As we pulled up to the house the seller and listing agent were there trying to quickly clean things up. Not wanting to be intrusive, I asked if I could take a quick perimeter walk around the property.
I only made it half way around the farm before I knew. It was one of those unexplainable gut feelings. Logic told me to be cautious and consider things carefully but my gut knew that this was the farm for me, there was no doubt about it. I mentioned my thoughts to my mother and she got very excited, saying "We should go back right now and tell them you'll buy it!" I tried to calm her down, explaining that running back to the house while waving my arms in the air and screaming "I'll take it! I'll take it!" wasn't exactly good negotiation tactics.
Despite my logic, I still found my legs hurrying back to the house. I tried to play it cool, asking the owner a few important questions about price, timing and a handful of other vital details. Then, in no more than five minutes, we had settled on a price and shook hands. The owner's realtor, standing there in disbelief, offered to drive me down to her office to sign the papers. On the way down the hill she leaned over to me and asked "So what was the final price?" The owner and I had negotiated so quickly that the realtor hadn't even been able to catch the final sales price.
That's also about the same time I called my wife and said "Hey Honey, guess what I just bought!"
I certainly don't advise buying a coffee farm that way. It is much more prudent to consider all the pros and cons carefully first and discuss them with your spouse before making a decision. It's not like my decision was totally impulsive though, I had been searching for months and already knew quite a bit about coffee farming. I had visited plenty of other Kona coffee farms so when the right opportunity finally presented itself I was prepared to make a quick decision.
Buying the farm has proven to be a fantastic decision for us. I knew it would be an adventure and it has been. Looking back, we really have done an amazing number of things. Building the barn, building the website, planting coffee trees, dealing with a drought, dealing with tractor repairs, winning awards, watching little fluffy clouds, raking coffee, dump truck parties, high prices, low prices, good times, bad times, surfing, pig hunting, coffee berry borer, sharks, goats, chickens, baby bunnies... there has never been a dull moment. The other day I was standing in my barn and it made my dizzy thinking of all the time, money and effort we have put into the farm. It will definitely be sad to leave.
I much prefer to look forward than backwards. I get excited thinking about all the adventures that are still ahead of us. I hope that whoever ends up on this farm next will love it as much as we have. We do have one condition that we would like the future owner to agree to: that we can stop by for a visit to see how the place is doing.
If you think you might be interested or know someone that might be interested in owning a productive Kona coffee farm then check out this page about our
If you are a loyal Kona Earth customer, don't worry, we'll continue providing the best coffee we can for as long as possible and we're going to hold out for new owners that we can trust to take care of the farm. The Kona Earth brand and business is being sold separately and we are seriously considering keeping it ourselves. Either way, we'll be sure to let everyone know before any changes are made. Satisfied customers are the only reason Kona Earth has been as successful as it has and that's important to us. Even more important, we need a good source of coffee for ourselves. After all these years, I think I'm too spoiled drink anything other than fresh Kona.