Business

Kona Master Roaster Is Hawaii’s Top Employee

August 26, 2013, 11:21 AM HST
* Updated August 26, 3:09 PM
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Hula Daddy Kona Coffee’s master roaster, Laura Ross, has been named Retail Employee of the Year in the statewide Hookela Awards sponsored by the Retail Merchants of Hawaii.

The award is given annually to an outstanding retail employee in Hawaii.

Ross is in charge of retail quality control and has been the Master Roaster for Hula Daddy for the past three years.

Hula Daddy owner Karen Paterson said Ross is “one of the finest coffee roasters in Hawaii.”

“If Laura doesn’t like the coffee, it goes into our compost pile for recycling,” Paterson said.

hula-daddy-logo

Hula Daddy Kona Coffee’s package design. Courtesy image.

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Clifton J. Handy, Business Banking Officer for First Hawaiian Bank in Kona, prepared Ross’s nomination because of her abilities to improve the company’s product and sales, he said.

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“In a little over three years, Laura has through tireless dedication become an award-winning roaster of Kona coffee,” Handy wrote, also noting that Hula Daddy has sold out its coffee for “the past three years since Laura has been involved with the company.”

A “local girl,” Ross was born and raised in Kamuela where she lives with her husband and teenage daughter.

“We are so pleased that this award acknowledges Laura’s contribution to quality Kona coffee,” Paterson said.

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Hula Daddy Kona Coffee is a 33-acre plantation in Kona that only sells roasted coffee at its plantation visitor center or on the internet at huladaddy.com.

The Retail Merchants of Hawaii is a statewide, non-profit trade association founded in 1901 to promote the welfare of the retail industry and serve as an advocate for retail merchants in business and government.

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