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29 Apr 2023

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When Pacific Coffee Research (PCR) co-founders Madeleine Longoria-Garcia and Brittany Horn started the company in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai’i, in 2017, roasting coffee for retail sale was not a part of the business plan. The vision was to provide services to farmers and other coffee professionals that were not yet available on the Hawaiian Islands — essential resources that would be the connective tissue to link the various points of the coffee value chain to each other in the service of building both quality and community.

Madeleine Longoria-Garcia and Brit Horn, [+][-]
co-founders of Kona-based Pacific Coffee Research.
Pacific Coffee Research

Flash forward six years, and PCR is Hawaii’s only Specialty Coffee Association Premier Training Campus and community education center, as well as a licensed Coffee Quality Institute lab, offering workshops for everyone, from farmers to baristas and professional sensory analysts to coffee enthusiasts. The newest PCR program is its retail and wholesale roastery, and two of its Hawaii-grown coffees have just received Good Food Awards.

The Good Food Foundation celebrates the passionate and engaged, yet often overlooked, players in the food system who are producing authentic and responsible food in order to humanize and reform American food culture. The importance of this award for PCR is that it recognizes the success of the company’s mission to partner with local farmers, paying above market value for their coffee, to support their work and help ensure the longevity and quality of their operations.

Pacific Coffee Research won 2023 Good Food Awards [+][-]
for two coffees grown on the Big Island.
Pacific Coffee Research

The two Good Food Award-winning coffees are a 100% Kaʻū from Rus Kuznetsov and Alla Kostenko’s Wood Valley Coffee Farm and a 100% Kona from Karina and Armando Rodriguez’s Aloha Star Coffee Farms. The awards ceremony took place at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon, where Pacific Coffee Research was invited to speak on behalf of the coffee awardees. PCR sourced and roasted these coffees, which were rewarded on cup quality and their commitment to ethical business practices. PCR is the first Hawai`i-based company to win in this division, and this is the first time a Kaʻū coffee has won a Good Food Award.

A women-owned and -operated coffee company, Pacific Coffee Research is committed to sharing knowledge and information with the goal of building a stronger and more resilient community. Horn says, “Knowledge builds equity, which is why we built a business around sharing knowledge and why we engage in continuous learning. Our immediate community deserves access to resources on-island, so we work on projects and collaborations to increase that access for our community. We maintain intentional collaboration with the Native community that allow us to broaden our perspective and understanding of our place in this industry, and we volunteer our time to work with social justice movements around the island and use our platforms to share voices outside of our own. This year, we have started to open our workshops and courses with an acknowledgement of the ahupuaʻa (land) that our company operates on to ensure that visitors know more about this land. We also open with discussions about cost of production and food sovereignty on an island community.”

The Pacific Coffee Research team.

Pacific Coffee Research

A study published in 2019 found that, considering all variables, Hawaii is the third most diverse state in the U.S. — and where race and ethnicity are concerned, Hawai'i is the most diverse state. Longoria-Garcia says, “We are committed to creating space and building a business in Hawaii that welcomes people from all walks of life, with a focus on engaging coffee professionals and drinkers in every aspect of the supply chain. PCR continuously strives to remain inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all people — this doesn't just include Hawai'i, but also our wider coffee community around the world.”

You can purchase PCR coffees here, and doing so supports Hawaiian coffee farmers and celebrates hard-won quality in a challenging industry.

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