Jim and Karin Ameika have long shared two passions: for a fine cup of coffee, and for Hawaii. During a visit to the Big Island in 1997, they fell in love with the Honomalino district of South Kona and found three parcels of land at 1,800-2,400 feet of elevation that were perfect for growing coffee. So, the Ameika’s grew their first Kona crop in 2000, and started Kona Cloud Coffee Estates.
Kona Cloud Coffee is grown in South Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Their coffee plantings are on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano, the summit of which is 13,680 feet above sea level, ideal for growing rich Kona coffee. The volcano’s summit is also about 4,100 miles from the company’s roaster in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
“A common question we are asked is, ‘What is the connection between Arkansas and Hawaii?’ The answer is that the company has roots in both states. Karin was born in Hawaii, and she and Jim spent time in Honolulu during part of Jim’s 13 years as a U.S. Army surgeon. Currently Jim is a cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We are the only Kona coffee growers located in the Mid South. This unique situation allows Kona Cloud Coffee to roast and ship our product directly to our customers more economically than shipping directly from Hawaii.”