This is the introduction to a new blog for the Waimea Coffee Company. (Drumroll, please … Ta. Da.)
So where to start? How about with the current owner of the establishment, Mikey Mejia?
A native of San Diego, Calif., Mikey, 35, has lived on the Big Island of Hawaii since 2006. Barrell-chested and perpetually full of life, Mikey quickly fell in love with the characters and community he found on the southern-most island of this archipelago. After a transition of ownership, he became the owner, officially, on April Fool’s Day of 2017, a somewhat apt date for a man who loves laughing, playing guitar, and raising his newborn son (not necessarily in that order).
“My strength is crafting delicious coffees,” Mikey reveals. “I like the way it makes me feel and I want to share that with others.”
Ultimately, Mikey says the Waimea Coffee Company is about community. Both the people that it serves, and the land from which its ingredients originate. And, of course, the crew at the customers’ service.
Dan Trueblood, 33, has worked at the shop for eight years, alongside Mikey as a co-worker, bandmate, friend and, eventually, a person the shopmates once lovingly dubbed not a “manager” but a “czar of employees.” Not an easy transition, from sidekick to boss, but one made easier by the fact that “he’s a really interesting person, so it makes it possible,” said Trueblood, whose art can be found in the shop.
Tennille Lindsey who has worked at Waimea Coffee Company in all of its different incarnations over 18 years said, “I love my Mikey. He and I, it’s a little bit different, I’m like his Auntie.” … “With other people, I just kind of worked for them … now, we’re self-managed, we’ve become so close and we know each other so well. … I love being here.”
A working motto is that the shop attempts to source every ingredient as locally and organically as possible. Every coffee comes directly from a farmer or a roaster who sources the beans directly from farms.
Additionally, all of the produce served at the Waimea Coffee Company comes from Big Island farms. The milk comes from KTA Super Stores’ Mountain Apple Brand, which consists of food products grown, processed, or manufactured in Hawai’i. The pastries and goodies in the display are made by local bakers in Waimea (including from Mikey’s sister, Victoria). No microwaves are ever used.
“If it has a weird ingredient that we can’t explain, we don’t use it. When it breaks, if I can’t fix it, we don’t have it,” Mikey happily exclaims. “We’re varying degrees of health and spiritual nuts. If it doesn’t vibe well, we don’t use it.”
As for the people? That community inside of a community that a shop like Waimea Coffee Company can sometimes provide?
“This world is filled with characters, but my favorite characters, from my favorite book, I’ve met there. It doesn’t mean we agree on everything all of the time, but we respect each other,” Mikey says. “I meet some of the coolest people. Walking through that door is where I met my fiancée.”
Written By: Timothy Scott | Photos By: Kathrine Kauhane