It all started with a cup of coffee
Four years ago we came to the Big Island for a week long vacation. We had the most amazing time, the kind of vacation everyone dreams of. Everything was perfect, the weather, the beach, the food…yes it is possible. One reason we picked the Big Island as our destination is the fact that my husband is an Ironman and always wanted to see the original race location. Our hotel was located next to Hapuna beach, one of those rare white sand beaches on the Big Island; which is to this day one of our favorite beach.
It was also about 30min away from downtown Kona, for that reason and because we were happy to stay at the resort we didn’t go in town, but I wanted to have dinner at least once. We both loved Kona on sight it is small, charming and led back so different from most of touristic towns. We were smitten…
We liked it so much that when we had to return Jean’s bike early on our last day it gave us the opportunity and time to visit a couple of condos. We did not find anything that afternoon, but it gave us a feel for the possibilities and a couple of locations we liked, we spend the rest of the day in Kona and did some shopping and bought a bag Kona Coffee like most tourists. We had no idea at the time that it was known to be the best coffee in the world. When we had it for breakfast at home with our children everyone agreed that it was the best coffee we ever had.
Several months later we found a condo we liked and bought it seeing it only on line. Sadly a year went by while life kept us away from our condo and Hawaii. During that time my husband researched Kona Coffee and coffee plantations for sale on the Big Island. He had a long time dream of having a second career and owning a house by the sea. Over the years he looked into different options and I heard all kind of fantasies; from buying a vineyard in Mendoza (Argentina) to a small resort in Bali (Indonesia). All these options seemed unrealistic, and I listened, at best, with a distracted ear.
When he became too insistent I would argue that it was not the right time, the children had to finish college first, too expensive, too far…most people have dreams…but so few take the leap. This time it felt different our children were almost grown and out of the house, I also wanted something new and exciting, this new life was tempting. Jean convinced me to go back to Hawaii and look at coffee plantations.
We selected a dozen properties to look at, then realized that a lot of the properties were “lease hold”. This kind of properties is very common in Hawaii, it means that you do not own the land but basically “rent it” at the end of the contract which could be up to 99 years all can be taken away including any constructions on the site. You also have to ask permission about any changes you want to do on the property. We didn’t like the idea of not owning the land and did not consider those properties.
We were left with very few choices. One of the possibility was a 6 acres coffee plantation in Captain Cook. That particular property was in the same family since early 1900, the children moved away, the parents died and the coffee plantation stayed unattended for years. Only the bottom part, about 2 acres of the land had producing coffee trees, they are over 50 years old overgrown but strong. The top part was very overgrown and the further up we went the fewer coffee trees remained and the more it looked like a jungle. The house was a simple construction built in 1956 and not updated, it is in the single wall fashion that was the norm at the time, any other buildings were in all stages of collapsing from old age. It wasn’t at all my perception of my new dream life in Hawaii.
We went to visit all of the remaining property but our mind was always coming back to this particular property. On our second visit we walked the land and wanted to go to the top of the property but couldn&rsquo because the jungle was too thick so we used road on the side of the property instead. It was some hike and when we finally reached the top of the hill and the end of the property I turned around and gasped; the view was amazing we could see the ocean and for the first time I could imagine the possibility…