December 5, 2023


Hawaii Food Blog archives from the Hawaii Hui network, including from Hawaii Grinds, the Hawaii food blog.


Angelo Pietro in Kaimuki Closing on Dec. 15

After more than 30 years in business, Angelo Pietro restaurant will be closing permanently next month.

The announcement, posted for customers on Saturday, Nov. 25, reads:

To Our Valued Customers, Friends, and Family:It is with great sadness that we inform you that the owner of Angelo Pietro has decided to permanently close the restaurant.Our final day of operation will be December 15, 2023.We have been very fortunate to serve our pasta and dressing to the people of Hawaii for the past 30 incredible years. Although we will be closing the restaurant, the dressings will still be available for purchase at the supermarkets and grocery stores.Our entire staff would like to thank you for your loyalty and friendship over the past 30 years and for letting us be a part of your lives.In the coming days we will be doing our best to serve as many guests as possible as we say our final farewells.Thank you once again and A Hui HouAngelo Pietro Staff

Angelo Pietro was founded in Fukuoka, Japan by Kunihiko Murata in 1980. His single, small Italian pasta restaurant introduced Japanese food lovers to the flavors of Italy.  One restaurant became two, then four, and within a few years, Murata was running a successful chain of over 60 Angelo Pietro restaurants throughout Japan.

Angelo Pietro serves a unique fusion of traditional Italian and Japanese flavors in pasta, pizza, salad, and salad dressing.

The hugely popular Angelo Pietro salad dressings began as a humble sideline to the pasta business, according to the company website.

“We cook our pastas to order and that takes about 10 minutes,” Murata is quoted as saying.  “To keep our patrons happy, we created the idea of an Italian vinaigrette with Japanese flavors to accompany a small salad and vegetables as a start.  Customers loved it, but most importantly, children loved it.” 

Parents noticed that children would eat their salads and vegetables, but only with Pietro’s special dressing.

Murata began filling his empty wine bottles with salad dressing.  He soon realized that he had a hit on his hands, something that would eventually become an even bigger success than his original restaurant concept.

Pietro Dressings have now become the best-selling soy dressings in Japan with more than 17 million bottles of dressing produced and sold each year.

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Tiki’s Grill & Bar to Host 21st Anniversary Community Benefit

Tiki’s Grill & Bar, a popular Waikiki restaurant, will celebrate its 21st anniversary on October 23 with a special community benefit event.

The landmark eatery, known for its casual American and Pacific Rim cuisine, tropical drinks and sunset views, first opened its doors in 2002. To mark over two decades of serving the Honolulu community, Tiki’s is hosting an anniversary party that will donate all proceeds to the Maui Food Bank.

“We wanted to give back to the community that has supported us for the past 21 years,” said Michael Miller, co-founder of Tiki’s. “With this event, we hope to raise awareness and funds for the Food Bank’s critical hunger relief services across Maui County.”

The benefit will feature pupus, a live chef station, drink tickets and live musical entertainment. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti and sample some of his signature island-inspired dishes.

“Our goal is to provide a fun night out while making a meaningful impact,” said Chef Nasuti. “We aim to raise enough funds so the Food Bank can provide over 5,000 meals to local families in need.”

Over its two-decade tenure, Tiki’s has become a Waikiki staple, serving over 1,000 customers daily. With its beachfront setting, vibrant decor and top deck dining, the restaurant has attracted both tourists and locals, including celebrities visiting Oahu.

The 21st anniversary benefit promises to be a memorable celebration of Tiki’s history as a beloved community gathering place. The event will allow the restaurant to give back while commemorating over 20 years of aloha spirit.

Tickets to the October 23 benefit are available online, with all proceeds donated directly to the Maui Food Bank.

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Mugen Restaurant in Waikīkī Launches New Breakfast Menu

Mugen, the Forbes five-star rated restaurant at Espacio in Waikīkī, has launched its new breakfast menu, expanding the offering to the public after previously being exclusive to hotel guests.

The reimagined breakfast experience displays the culinary artistry of celebrated Pastry Chef Jamon Harper. The Mugen menu draws on quality ingredients, featuring dishes such as:

A modern version of the Hawaiian Loco Moco, including Miyazaki A5 Wagyu, Tsuyahime rice, veal jus, and a Waialua quail egg. ($65)

A house-made King Salmon Gravlax accompanied by creamy burrata, heirloom tomato, red onion, capers, lemon, and focaccia toast. ($28)

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes flavored with mango-lilikoi curd and compressed pineapple. ($19)

A luxurious Lobster Eggs Benedict on a bacon gruyère biscuit, paired with black truffle hollandaise and Kupu Farms microgreens. ($45)

In a concerted effort to emphasize local connections, Mugen’s breakfast features cacao from Mānoa Chocolate and coffee and teas exclusively blended by Tea Leaves and Tradition Coffee in Kailua on Oahu. For those seeking an additional indulgence, the menu offers mimosas by the glass or Champagne paired with freshly squeezed orange juice.

Reservations for breakfast at Mugen can be secured through OpenTable for service between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily. As Mugen prepares for its dinner service reopening in the coming months, the restaurant continues to be available for private events.

For additional details, interested parties can visit

About Mugen

Mugen is elevating Hawaii’s status as a destination for culinary travel with its global cuisine. Rated five-stars by the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide, Mugen curates Espacio’s culinary offerings, from amenities and catered events to its distinguished restaurant service.

About ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki

Espacio (The Jewel of Waikiki) is an Omotenashi-inspired ultra-luxury hotel on Waikiki Beach with nine suites on nine floors. For two years running, it is the only hotel in Hawaii to be awarded prestigious Forbes five-star ratings for the hotel and its onsite fine dining restaurant, Mugen, as well as the AAA five diamond designation. Guests can expect a completely private, luxury experience. Each residential-style, 2,250 square-foot suite occupies an entire floor with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a hot spa-clad ocean view balcony, a dry sauna, chef’s grade kitchen, and a discreet elevator entry.

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Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Opens First Hawaii Location in Kahala

Honolulu residents with a craving for extraordinary sandwiches now have a new destination to satisfy their taste buds. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, a nationally recognized restaurant chain, opened its first Hawaii location at 4210 Waialae Ave., across from Kahala Mall on Monday.

The Honolulu Capriotti’s marks the 158th location nationally for the Las Vegas-based franchise, famed for its hand-crafted sandwiches.

The first Hawaii location occupies a 1,200-square-foot space off the H1 Freeway next to Kahala MKT. Customers are welcomed into what the company describes as a dining oasis with plentiful parking, and an option to dine-in or carry out.

Capriotti’s maintains a 40-year tradition of slow-roasting whole, all-natural turkeys in-house daily. The menu includes a wide range of offerings such as Turkey Subs, American Wagyu, Cheese Steaks, Classic Sandwiches, Vegetarian Sandwiches, and Salads. Notably, the shop’s The Bobbie sandwich, featuring slow-roasted turkey topped with cranberry sauce, handmade stuffing, and mayo, has been hailed as “The Greatest Sandwich in America” by

High-end offerings are also part of Capriotti’s appeal, with the exclusive addition of Snake River Farms beef, offering American Wagyu previously only found in upscale steakhouses.

The opening of Capriotti’s in Hawaii is a venture by Soojung Heu and her husband, Chase Heu, who together boast over 50 years of experience in the hospitality industry. “We are ecstatic to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring what we feel are the best sandwiches of true quality to Hawaii for the first time,” Soojung Heu said in a statement.

Founded in 1976, Capriotti’s has carved out a reputation for remaining true to its tradition of slow-roasting whole turkeys in-house, providing cold, grilled, and vegetarian subs, cheesesteaks, and salads at more than 150 locations across the United States. With a planned expansion to over 500 locations by 2025 and having ranked on Fast Casual’s Top Movers & Shakers List for three consecutive years (2020-22), Capriotti’s shows no sign of slowing down.

Those in Honolulu ready for an extraordinary meal can visit the Capriotti’s at 4210 Waialae Ave. or pre-order online at or through the CAPAddicts Rewards app.

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Capital Grille steakhouse chain coming to Waikīkī

The Capital Grille, a fine dining restaurant specializing in dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood, announced that it will open its first Hawaii location at Līlia Waikīkī in June 2024.

The chain’s first Hawaii location will be operated by Union MAK, which also franchises IHOP & Applebee’s restaurants.

“This culminates a life-long dream to bring to Hawaii’s shores a most-iconic fine dining restaurant – made even sweeter as it will be on historic Kūhiō Avenue in Waikīkī,” said Vince Espino, Union MAK owner and new franchisee for The Capital Grille.

The Capital Grille is best known for expertly prepared steaks dry-aged in-house for 18 to 24 days, a process that achieves incomparable flavor and tenderness. Steaks are hand-carved daily by the restaurant’s butcher, with selections including Bone-in Kona Crusted Dry-Aged NY Strip; Porcini Rubbed Bone-In Ribeye with 15-Year Aged Balsamic; and Sliced Filet Mignon with Cipollini Onions, Wild Mushrooms and Fig Essence, among others.

The restaurant is also popular for its blend of menu classics and twists on appetizers and sides, artfully prepared using impeccable ingredients. Signature dishes include Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers; Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese; and Lobster and Crab Cake with Lemon Basil Aioli. Dedicated to culinary excellence throughout its menu, a skilled pastry chef prepares desserts each morning from scratch, such as The Capital Grille Cheesecake, brûlée style, and Coconut Cream Pie.

The Capital Grille pours from a list of more than 350 selections, housed in a floor-to-ceiling, temperature-controlled wine kiosk holding more than 3,000 bottles. Guests can choose from 30 wines rarely offered by the glass, including library vintages and highly sought-after limited bottlings. Through continuous wine training, servers can make personalized recommendations for guests to choose their perfect pairings. Private wine lockers are available by annual lease for the aficionado, offering brass nameplates, specially procured wines and first access to special events and tastings.

Located on the corner of Kūhiō Avenue and Kānekapōlei Street, The Capital Grille will be a signature restaurant tenant at Līlia Waikīkī, a luxury residential destination blending elegance and comfort for a modern living experience.

The Capital Grille is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants, which also owns Olive Garden, Ruth’s Chris Stake House, Yard House, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

“We are very excited to continue building on our successful partnership with Vince by bringing The Capital Grille’s exceptional guest experience to Hawaii—this location is our first in Hawaii and we couldn’t be more pleased to be along Kūhiō Avenue in the heart of Waikīkī,” said Darden Restaurants international senior vice president Brad Smith. “We know that Vince and his team’s experience will help us deliver exceptional experiences to guests of The Capital Grille.”

“Līlia Waikīkī’s dynamic retail offering is an ideal location to introduce The Capital Grille to Hawaii,” said Kris Hui of Brookfield Properties. “We invite our residents and the community to enjoy an iconic fine dining experience that is so popular and unique. We are thrilled The Capital Grille is finally coming to Honolulu.”

Līlia’s retail offerings include a curated collection of restaurants and a two-story, full service grocery store called Waikīkī Market. The new Capital Grille will be carefully designed to create an atmosphere of refined sophistication with exceptional finishes and unique features. The space will offer a variety of private dining spaces for meetings and group events, whether social or business, customized to meet each guest’s needs.

About The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille is a fine-dining restaurant that offers expertly prepared steaks, fresh seafood, a renowned wine list and professional service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. Open seven days a week, The Capital Grille is best known for its expertly prepared steaks, which are dry-aged for 18 to 24 days in-house and hand-carved in-restaurant by a butcher. The restaurant’s wine list features more than 350 selections, and its floor-to-ceiling wine kiosk regularly houses 3,000 bottles. The restaurant has been honored by Wine Spectator magazine with an Award of Excellence for the breadth and depth of the list. The Capital Grille also offers personalized, on-site wine lockers, available by annual lease.

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Paris Baguette Brings International Bakery Franchise to Hawaii

Paris Baguette, the bakery café concept with 4,000 units worldwide including nearly 150 in the United States, has seen significant growth in the past year. After a remarkable 2022 and strong first quarter in 2023, the franchisor is continuing along an impressive growth trajectory with its most recent signing of its first four locations in Hawaii.

“We are thrilled to announce additional expansion to Hawaii. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in the bakery café space,” explained Mark Mele, chief development officer. “No other bakery café franchisors are doing what Paris Baguette is on the same scale. Our ability to stay true to our bakery café roots while embracing aggressive expansion has garnered attention, and that only serves to drive us forward.”

The Hawaii deal will bring the total number of locations within the state to four. The agreement was signed by Robert Kurisu, a Honolulu resident and local real estate professional who is pioneering the additional growth.

“When looking for the right franchise opportunity, Paris Baguette was the ideal fit because of its amazing product line, store design and proven response from communities throughout the United States,” said Kurisu.

Moving forward, the brand continues to eye the 1,000 unit mark within the U.S. by 2030, and as it continues to grow, Mele explained that Paris Baguette seeks passionate franchisees interested in serving people in a welcoming neighborhood establishment.

“We want someone who is going to take the time to put the right staff members in place in their store and ensure everyone understands the most important person is the guest,” he added.

Within the $17 billion bakery segment, Paris Baguette continues to differentiate itself by offering breads, cakes and pastries made fresh daily, unlike many other concepts that primarily offer soups, salads and other pre-made goods.


Paris Baguette is a bakery café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The brand first started franchising in 2015 in the U.S. and has since established nearly 150 locations in markets across the country, making it one of the premier franchise opportunities in its category. Paris Baguette’s primary mission, executed every day by its expert staff of bakers, cakers and baristas, is to share moments of joy with customers and help customers share moments of joy with their friends and family by providing world-class cakes, pastries, coffees, breads and other French-inspired bakery café fare.

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The Pupu House and Kiki’s Tiki Bar Open in Waikīkī

Located on Lewers Street in the old Moose McGillycuddy’s space, The Pupu House welcomes kama‘aina and malihini with their fun retro tiki bar vibe, and ‘ono grindz by Uncle Bo. Meanwhile, Kiki’s is the newest after-hours party hotspot, open til 3am on Taco Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays!

The Pupu House on the street level at 310 Lewers Street and Kiki’s (or ‘Kiki’s, short for Waikiki) Tiki Bar upstairs will both be open beginning Tuesday, May 16.

The Pupu House already soft-opened at the end of April, and has been serving dinner nightly from 5:00pm to 1:00am (last call for food at 12:45am). Now their sister establishment, Kiki’s Tiki Bar, located upstairs on the second level, will be open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00pm to 3:00am. Kiki’s will kick-off their weekly “Taco Tuesdays” tomorrow with DJ Compose and beef or chicken tacos for only $5 each.

And this Saturday, May 20, 10:00pm-3:00am, DJ Collective Promotion Group launches “Sneaky Tiki” at Kiki’s with no cover charge! All three nights will feature top DJs and live bands to make Kiki’s the new hot spot to gather with friends for after-hours fun ‘til 3:00am. Kiki’s large and fun space is also an ideal spot for private parties and special events as a buyout for up to 150 guests with a full bar, multiple monitors, stage and sound system. There is also a private room upstairs for up to 20 guests.

The Pupu House on the first level is a family-friendly restaurant and bar that will transport you back in time to the “Golden Era of Waikiki” with its nostalgic and playful “tiki bar” vibe. It can accommodate about 60 guests on tables and at the bar. They offer a delectable menu of dishes to please every palate, from Uncle Bo’s favorites, which have gained thousands of loyal devotees in Hawaii and around the world, to his own twist on local-style dishes which pay homage to iconic local eateries and utlilize locally-sourced ingredients

In addition, the bar looks like something straight out of the set of “Blue Hawaii” with its thatched roof, bamboo, colorful glass balls, and shell accents, and the team of skilled bartenders offers a full bar including amazing signature cocktails. The Pupu House also features a Late Night Happy Hour/Industry Night from 10:00pm ‘til last call nightly with selected menu items at 50% off and the signature “The Sea Chest” cocktail for $12. A souvenir shop is also open at the entrance selling various logo merchandise like t-shirts and bags.

“We are super excited to have both The Pupu House and Kiki’s finally open,” said Ho Suk Lee, President and Managing Partner. “My partners—Chef Bo Pathammavong and my wife, Hokulani Lee—and I are so grateful because we have been busy since we opened our doors with both locals and visitors.

“We opened without fanfare as we wanted to get settled in first, but tourists passing by just wanted to come in to this fun tiki bar called ‘Pupu’ and loyal local fans of Uncle Bo’s found out we were here and started coming in and spreading the word,” Lee added. “Now we’re opening Kiki’s upstairs on three nights—and we’re available for parties, too.

Lee said he plans to expand the schedule upstairs and also offer breakfast and lunch downstairs at The Pupu House in the near future.


Hearken back to a simpler time when Waikiki was being discovered by travelers from around the world, Duke and his Waikiki Beachboys ruled the waves, and Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” became everyone’s dream fantasy. Welcome to The Pupu House, featuring food the whole ‘ohana will love by award-winning Chef “Uncle Bo” Pathammavong, of Uncle Bo’s Kapahulu, Uncle Bo’s Hale‘iwa, and Yaya’s Chophouse & Seafood in Kaka‘ako.

Address: 310 Lewers Street, 1st Level, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Dinner Nightly, 5:00pm – 1:00am (last call for food 12:45am); Late Night Happy Hour, 10:00pm – 1:00am (last call for food 12:45am)

Reservations/Takeout: (808) 784-8112

Parking: No parking available.


Social: IG: @the_pupu_house I FB: The Pupu House I #thepupuhouse 



The hottest new late night spot in Waikiki, Kiki’s Tiki Bar opens on Taco Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00pm – 3:00am, and features top DJs and live bands to dance or chill to while enjoying your favorite beverage and hanging out with friends – and making new ones! Kiki’s is also the perfect party venue for all of life’s celebrations. Contact us at for your next event for up to 150 guests!

Address: 310 Lewers Street, Upstairs, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Tuesday/Friday/Saturday, 10:00pm – 3:00am; Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday!

Reservations/Private Parties: (808) 784-8112 /

Parking: No parking available.

Social: IG: @kikis_tikibar I FB: I #kikistikibar 

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Tiki’s Grill in Waikiki Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The award-winning Tiki’s Grill & Bar is celebrating of 20 years in business, highlighting the talents of Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti.

Tiki’s is a renowned festive, oceanside restaurant for Hawaiian cooking, cocktails, and live music.

Nasuti’s dishes include many new offerings that he has concocted to commemorate the restaurant’s major milestone.

Abiding by a farm-to-table movement, Chef Ronnie brings in island fresh produce and breads, as well as local grass-fed beef and local caught and/or raised fish, weekly. His casual American and Pacific-Rim menu offerings, such as the Teppanyaki Pacific Pink Snapper, Truffle-Yaki Salmon, and his own personal favorite, the Thai Shrimp Puttanesca, have all helped Tiki’s Grill & Bar win a multitude of awards including TripAdvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice” in 2020 and Honolulu Magazine’s “Best Restaurant of Honolulu” in 2018.

A beloved hot spot by both locals and tourists alike, Tiki’s Grill & Bar (located at The Twin Fin hotel) is the only Tiki bar within the Waikiki district, and features beachfront views and live entertainment every evening. Guests continue to savor Chef Ronnie’s food, as well a bountiful and tasty tropical drink menu, which includes Tiki’s Grill & Bar’s top drink of choice, the 1944 Mai Tai.

Launched in 2002 by three University of Hawaii graduates—Bill Tobin, Kelly McGill, and Michael Miller—the trio have since built up what is now known as the “busiest independent restaurant in Waikiki,” serving over 1,000 patrons a day, and with more than 150 staff members on payroll. 

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Former Sugar Workers Reinvented Themselves to Grow Award-Winning Coffee

The story of former sugar workers who reinvented themselves to grow award-winning Ka‘u coffee is captured in a new, 20-minute film available via YouTube.

Presented by the Ka‘u Coffee Festival and Hawaii Tourism Authority, “The History of Ka‘u Coffee” shares the pioneering spirit and challenges of coffee growers in the state’s largest agricultural region that sprawls windward to leeward on the southern half of Hawaii Island. Videography is by Ruslan Kuznetsov and Hawaiian music is provided by the Keaiwa band of Ka‘u. 

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Short interviews with Ka‘u coffee growers and those who helped them achieve success share what it took to create an award-winning coffee while establishing Ka‘u as a premiere coffee region. Those featured include Trinidad Marques of Ali‘i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee, Merle Becker of Aikane Plantation, Joan Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian and Isla Custom Coffees, Brenda Iokepa-Moses, former land management analyst of Ka‘u Agribusiness; John Cross, former manager of Ka‘u Coffee Mill and Chris Manfredi, Ka‘u Coffee Festival organizer. 

Using historic photos, the film opens to illustrate how Ka‘u sugar plantations laid the framework for everyday life in Ka‘u, providing the community’s economic engine and infrastructure for decades. When the last plantation closed in 1996, some residents decided to grow coffee, and the film reveals why through interviews. The prospective growers got USDA grants for seed money, which helped them transition from a plantation system to private enterprise, where farmers were in charge of their own success.

The compelling documentary chronicles the early challenges faced by Ka‘u growers. However, a turning point in the fledging coffee industry was when 15 samples of Ka‘u coffee entered the 2007 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Competition. Two entries placed sixth and ninth in the worldwide field of entries.

“Ka‘u coffee became front page news and talked about within the international specialty coffee scene,” says Manfredi on camera. “This success brought a resurgence in community pride.” Manfredi details how farmers rolled up their sleeves and returned to their abandoned fields. “We hired consultants who taught Ka‘u growers best farming practices, how to ID bean defects and store coffee.” He adds the collective goal among the growers was to offer a higher volume of Ka‘u coffee to attract buyers.

The film conveys how five subsequent SCAA Coffee of the Year Awards put Ka‘u on the world-class coffee map. The Ka‘u Coffee Festival debuted in 2009 to promote and celebrate the now famous brew, its premium coffee origin and the Ka‘u District as a visitor destination. Footage reveals how the festival offers opportunities to meet the growers and sample coffee, take a farm tour, learn how to brew coffee a variety of ways, and immerse in the community over 10 days of activities like stargazing, a ranch tour and an indoor-outdoor ho‘olaule‘a celebration with local hula, Hawaiian music and local non-profits selling broke-da-mouth food.

The film is dedicated to the spirit of hard-working Ka‘u coffee growers—past, present and future—and ends with a message of hope for Ka‘u coffee farming to successfully continue in the verdant valleys of Ka‘u while keeping Ka‘u families connected to the land. Watch it at 

For info and additional 2022 virtual Ka‘u Festival offerings, visit and follow K’au Coffee Festival on facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter and Instagram. Support is provided by Hawai’i Tourism through the Community Enrichment Program.  

About the Ka‘u Coffee Festival:

Founded in coffee traditions dating to the 1800s—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. Held annually, the mission of the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.

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