When you shop with Hawaiʻi businesses, you’re doing more than supporting a local shop, restaurant or service provider. You are also investing in a community of hardworking entrepreneurs who are passionate about sharing all that makes Hawaiʻi special through their unique, island-made products.
At Hawaiian Airlines, the state’s oldest and longest-serving carrier with roots as a small air tour operator, we are dedicated to engaging our guests in supporting fellow kamaʻāina companies — from our HawaiianMiles Marketplace to products we feature inflight. Our efforts to share Hawaiʻi products with the world have strengthened through a partnership with local business accelerator Mana Up and Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®.
Mana Up, launched in 2018 to assist up-and-coming Hawaiʻi companies with growing and scaling their products, has backed 63 businesses across food, fashion, beauty, home and art. Last year, it helped generate over 325 jobs and $42.7 million in revenue for the state’s economy. As the exclusive airline partner of Mana Up, we are proud to jointly present Meet the Makers, a virtual event series kicking off this month on Hawaiian Airlines and Mana Up’s Facebook pages to celebrate nine Hawai‘i entrepreneurs and showcase their products.
“With travel in flux over the last year, we wanted to launch a virtual series that offers an exclusive and behind-the-scenes look at our islands’ rising entrepreneurs and their locally made products,” said Brittany Heyd, cofounder of Mana Up. “Meet the Makers builds on years of collaboration with Hawaiian Airlines, and we are looking forward to highlighting the journeys of Hawai‘i’s most fascinating business owners.”
Over the next several months on our blog, we will feature the stories of the small businesses participating in the Meet the Makers series before each live event. The first episode debuts on July 28 with Big Island Coffee Roasters, where roasting coffee beans and making the perfect island blends is an art form.
“We roast to order, meaning we don't keep pre-roasted inventory in stock because we want to maintain a high level of quality,” Stewart said. “Roasting to order equates to a big checklist for the production team working in our roastery, including generating order lists, milling, grading, sorting, roasting and fulfilling orders. We're roasting all day, five to six days a week. On any of those days, the team might also be cupping new or rare Hawaiian coffees, working with farmers, or mastering a particular coffee blend before we debut it."
Travel Pono (responsibly) by supporting local businesses while visiting the Hawaiian islands. Big Island Coffee Roasters is sold and served at local cafes and stores throughout the state.
“It's all been very exciting, and I'm so proud of the Mana Up team. They are masterful connectors who have helped us scale distribution and build awareness for what we do,” Stewart said. “The benefits of having a community like Mana Up that we call on when we get stuck can't be understated. Neighbor Island companies like ours face complex challenges that you wouldn't expect, and they help us navigate difficult community dynamics toward finding the right, tailored solution.”
Big Island Coffee Roasters will host the first Meet the Makers event at its Puna headquarters, walking the audience through its farm and operations while offering a step-by-step demo on how to brew the perfect French press and pour-over coffee using its beans. Viewers are encouraged to purchase the company’s exclusive tasting set to immerse themselves further and follow along in demos.
Items in the set include:
Tasting sets are available for purchase at www.houseofmanaup.com/meet-the-makers. Cardmembers can use their Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® to earn two additional bonus miles per $1 spent on all purchases.*