Do You Ever Accept Visitors to Your Farm?

Posted by on Sep 11, 2009 in Ask Makaira | 4 comments

Do You Ever Accept Visitors to Your Farm?Aloha friends!

Over the past few years our little kava farm has grown tremendously, much more than we had ever dreamed, and with growth comes new possibilities, new challenges, and new requests. One of the most frequent requests I get in my inbox is from customers who either live in Hawaii or are visiting our beautiful islands and want to come see the farm. Of course, this is a natural reaction; we love kava and we want to see where it comes from, how it is grown, and the people behind it. But sometimes we may not consider that the people behind it are actually people like us, people who value their privacy, work hard at what they do but want to remain behind the scenes, so to speak. Sometimes we are only concerned with what we feel internally and forget to consider the external.

Unfortunately, we do not offer tours and do not accept visitors to Kona Kava Farm. I know how disappointing this is to some of you; I’ve had people get angry with me when I’ve told them this, if you can believe it, and some have even proclaimed that Kona Kava Farm doesn’t exist because we won’t let them come visit! I definitely understand the passion of people–don’t get between me and my kava!–but it’s a little silly, I think, to say something doesn’t exist just because, for whatever the reason, you’re unable to see it or be a part of it. Would you say the same of a large corporation, like Microsoft or General Motors, if they declined to allow you and your friends a tour of their facilities? “But of course those big companies won’t allow me to visit,” you say. “They value their privacy and can’t have just anybody stop by on a whim. Besides, they have work to do!”

How is Kona Kava Farm any different? We also value our privacy, are extremely busy in the fields and in production, and always have plenty of work to do. The difference, however, between us and big companies like Microsoft and General Motors is that, unlike these companies that conduct their business in office buildings, we actually live on the farm. So not only is Kona Kava Farm where we do all of our work, it’s where we live! I hope now you’re beginning to see how we came to this decision to not give tours; although I understand how nice it would be if we could allow tours, our situation just can’t support it.

There is a similar question I get sometimes pertaining to the farm; some people wonder if Kona Kava Farm is in Hawaii, why then does the package they receive from us come from Chicago, Illinois. A while back we had to make a tough business decision– I know it kept me up for more than a few nights! We had begun to grow so fast that it was not only difficult to ship all the orders from the farm, but we also started to notice the shipping expenses rising. At the advice of a close family friend, we moved our distribution center to Chicago in an effort to keep costs low, offer same-day shipping guarantees like we couldn’t before, and provide a dedicated support staff just for shipping and product questions. We also partnered up with a highly respected herbal manufacturer called eSutras, who assists in processing our kava once it gets to Chicago. Having our distribution in Chicago, being smack-dab in the middle of the continental United States and being in a major American city, enables us to ship much cheaper than we ever could before, pass that savings on to you in the form of lower product prices and lower shipping fees, and ensures your package will arrive much quicker than it ever could have coming from Hawaii. So the chain of kava goes: we ship a large amount to Chicago, they ship individual amounts out to you, and everybody saves some money. If you don’t believe me that this has saved both you and us tons of money, compare our kava and shipping prices with any other vendor online; I think you’ll find we can’t be beat!

So I hope this clears a few things up. Maybe one day we’ll be able to offer tours and allow visitors, and it’s something we’ve talked about numerous times over the years, but it just isn’t something we can do right now. Our business and personal lives are too intertwined and we’d like to maintain a little privacy. But we certainly appreciate people’s passion and understand the desire to get a little closer to the kava source! Mahalo!

Aloha no,

Makaira

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4 Comments

  1. Curt,

    That’s a comment we get so often; ground shipping from an island to just about anywhere has it’s obvious difficulties! That was part of why we made the move, but we also found an amazing manufacturer who had the same vision as we did for all-natural products, and who does it, like we do, on a small scale. We’re just happy we’ve been able to reach a much wider audience over the past few years as this Ancient Oceanic Secret continues to gain popularity! Aloha no, Makaira

  2. I’ve been purchasing from Kona Kava for quite a few years and I remember when you used to ship directly from Hawa’ii. Personally, I like the fact that you have shifted your distribution operations to the Continental US, as I most definitely have noted a savings in postage, and a quicker delivery time. Hey folks, its the same great kava/awa, only now you get if faster!

  3. Absolutely agree, no offense to anyone else, but I would not want strangers roaming about my land or in my home. I live in the woods, and value my privacy. We are all Americans and should be permitted to have business and privacy. This I agree is very important.

  4. I think your position is reasonable, and I have no problem with it whatsoever. Also, having your main distribution center in Chicago makes sense. No problem here.

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