Country Coffee at Rainbow Falls Now Open
by Denise Laitinen
There is a new place offering coffee, sandwiches and local produce across from one of Hilo’s most well-known landmarks.
Country Coffee at Rainbow Falls opened its doors two weeks ago, showcasing local artwork and live music in addition to coffee and locally made food products.
When owners Christopher Kossowski and his wife Yoko moved to Hilo in February, they started looking for a location to open a specialty food store.
Both have experience in food industry; Yoko worked as a specialty food importer in Japan and Christopher had catering experience.
A neighbor suggested the building next to the Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council, directly across the street from Rainbow Falls, which had been used as a gift shop in the past.
In addition to offering coffee drinks, Country Coffee sells breakfast sandwiches, bentos and baked goods. Yoko is responsible for the baking, creating different items daily such as coconut bread, brownies and bagels.
“People on their way to work can grab a sandwich and coffee and on their way home can stop by for fresh produce,” Christopher Kossowski said,
Country Coffee also provides delivery service to nearby businesses and residents.
The couple sells a variety of food products from Big Island farms and companies, including organic macadamia nuts from Mahina Mele Farms and Brownie Lava from Sugar Lips Cookie Company.
“Everything sold here is made on the Big Island,” noted Kossowski. “We’re trying to promote a unique retail point for local farms.”
Country Coffee also offers a unique farm stand where people can order vegetables on demand.
“Instead of ordering a pizza, people can order veggies,” he said.
He explained that every weekday the store has fresh produce available from area farms. If people want a produce item they don’t see, the store will call the farm and have it delivered (depending on the season).
“We can have fresh produce pulled from the ground and delivered in 20 minutes,” said Kossowski.
Aside from selling fresh coffee and produce, the store features artwork from both well-known and up-and-coming artists.
Country Coffee is currently holding a contest to feature an artist’s mural on the side of the store facing Rainbow Falls.
Kossowski emphasized that the store is a more than just a gift shop for visitors at the nearby state park.
“This was a dead area that had been prone to drug use and we’re trying to promote an open, tranquil space that’s inviting. We want to be a gathering place.”
Kossowski pointed out that the new store offers different forms of music and/or cultural entertainment several days a week. People can learn about coconuts on Tuesdays or learn how to do lauhala weaving on Wednesdays.
Plans are already underway to operate a weekly farmers market, similar to Uncle Robert’s market in Kalapana, in the parking lot of the HCEOC one day a week.
Kossowski said he’s in the process of reaching out to local vendors and musicians interested in participating in the weekly market.
Country Coffee at Rainbow Falls, located at 47 Rainbow Dr., is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information go to www.country-coffee.com.