Life in Business: Big Island Coffee Roasters

Brandon Damitz and Kelleigh Stewart have combined their expertise in biological and culinary sciences and organic farming to create a business that offers the finest local products to the public along with support for other coffee growers in commercial roasting, packaging and processing.

“In 2011 we re-named our coffee farm, mill and roastery Big Island Coffee Roasters to reflect our dedication for improving the quality of coffee throughout the Big Island of Hawai‘i,” says Brandon. “We continue to operate Makana Gardens, LLC,
as a tropical flower wholesaler and gift box retailer.”

After purchasing the coffee farm previously known as Volcano Isle Coffee, Brandon and Kelleigh imported a Diedrich coffee roaster and engaged in massive tree pruning, while experimenting with different processing techniques.

Kelleigh has a background in the biological and culinary sciences. Her degree is in organismal biology and her culinary experiences range from employment as a chef, managing a restaurant, and engaging food/wine pairings. Brandon’s experience is in organic vegetable farming and all aspects of service in casual fine dining.

“Our inspiration is in the exploration of coffee chemistry and how subtle adjustments can reflect remarkable changes in flavor,” explains Kelleigh. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy their cup of coffee in the same way as a fine wine, microbrew, or a flavorful dinner..

“Our coffee farm contains an array of yellow, pink and red bourbon, red and yellow caturra, red catuai, SL-28 and typica trees. We also showcase exceptional coffees from other micro-lots around the Big Island,” she continued.

Big Island Coffee Roasters’ (Makana Gardens) most popular coffee, Puna Sweet Estate Coffee, has a “richness of brown sugar and milk chocolate, with the fruit character of red wine and tropical citrus.” All coffee has the roast date handwritten on the label, and is never sold two weeks past roasting.

Services to Big Island coffee growers include complete
on-site processing and roasting.

“We share our attention to quality with all of our processing customers, and advise our customers of different ways to bring out desirable traits in their coffee beans.

Coffee, tropical flowers and gift boxes are available through the website, telephone orders, and Big Island B&B’s.
Call for kama’aina pricing.

Location: Hawaiian Acres Road 1 in Mountain View

Phone: 808.968.6228


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