Kona Earth - Our Story
Kona Earth is a family-owned and operated 100% Kona coffee farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. Steve and Joanie Wynn, who took the reigns of the business in 2021, take a hands-on, artisanal approach to growing their delicious specialty coffee. They take great care in nurturing the trees and tending to every phase of the process; picking the cherry, micro roasting the beans, then shipping the freshest coffee farm-direct.
Time for a Change
At the height of the pandemic, Steve and Joanie took a pause to consider their next life chapter. They'd had a great 30-year run with their Emmy award-winning production company Bayside Entertainment. They had traveled the world together producing all range of content, from documentaries and television content to video for large corporations like Sony and Lucasfilm. Still, they were restless for a new challenge, a new adventure to take on.
They had always dreamed of making Hawaii their permanent home. When Steve stumbled on the idea of coffee farming, they both sparked to the idea. They began researching the industry and searching in earnest for the right property. When Kona Earth came on the market, they felt they'd found just the right fit - an existing farm and business with room to grow.
Putting Down Roots
Transitioning to the Kona coffee business isn't as strange as it may at first seem for this husband and wife team. Steve’s family had owned a vineyard in Sonoma and, as a young man, he loved working the fields and learning about farming. So, as much as he loves shooting and editing, he relishes this opportunity to work the farm and get his hands dirty. He's out in the fields every day mowing, pruning, weeding, fertilizing and tending to his coffee tree "babies". He's excited about planting new areas of the farm. When orders come in, he micro-roasts the beans in their JM Estrada roaster. Sound like a lot of work? It is! But Steve is loving every minute of it.
Joanie translates her producing experience to the farm's business side. After all, it is called coffee production. She handles the finances and logistics, sales and marketing, order fulfillment, and customer support. She also helps out in the field whenever she can and assists Steve with the roasting. She finds the new challenge stimulating and exciting and loves learning the ropes of e-commerce and all about the business of the specialty coffee industry.
Rounding out the Kona Earth team is “Tickle”, their Covid rescue pup who loves running behind the tractor and exploring his new "dog park".
A Chance To Give Back
Near and dear to Steve and Joanie's heart is their "Care In Every Cup" program. A percentage of every purchase is donated to their local non-profit partner, Kohala Center. The Big Island organization does important work advocating for fragile ecosystems including the reefs, cloud forests, and agricultural communities. In addition to monetary donations, the couple often donates coffee for charitable fundraisers, both in Hawaii and on the mainland. Giving back has always been an important aspect of the Wynn's businesses and it is a special joy to be able to continue that tradition with Kona Earth.
Fun Times Ahead
Steve and Joanie have been refurbishing the farmhouse in anticipation of opening for farm tours in the Fall of 2022. Sign up for their mailing list to be alerted to tour availability.