marin living january/february 2022

Page 80

new digs.

The Daily Grind

If Kona Earth can package the perkiness of its owners, Joanie and Steve Wynn, the world will be lining up for a bag of its premium, 100 percent Kona coffee from Hawaii’s Big Island. By Laura Schooling

AFTER 30 YEARS in video production, the Emmy-winning duo Joanie and Steve Wynn had a case of pandemic doldrums and decided to pack in their known way of life in Marin for a change. Having long had ties to Hawaii, they opted for a big change on the Big Island where they could acquire a little bit of land. So, when Steve said, “What if we cash out everything and become coffee farmers?” it didn’t take much for Joanie to get on board. Joanie adds, “We’re not going to settle into pre-retirement. We want to totally shake it up.” Many people have grabbed a bag of Kona coffee — one of Hawaii’s prized exports — at the airport, brewed it up,

and had a less-than-transcendent experience. That may be because many coffees labeled as Kona may have as little as 10 percent of the precious bean in the mixture. That’s a little like buying a two-buck Chuck and calling it a Napa cabernet. Hawaii coffee makes up only .04 percent of the world’s coffee, while Kona coffee is exclusively grown in the Kona Coffee Belt on the Big Island’s western coast. “It has a completely unique flavor,” says Steve. “And most people have probably never tried it.” Kona Earth is a family-run operation, with Steve manning the fields and Joanie managing the marketing and sales.

All images courtesy of Kona Earth

Kona coffee is grown in the Kona Coffee Belt region on the Big Island.

78 january/february 2022 marin living.