Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holy Grail: Howard and Stephanie

Before they founded and nurtured Kona Rain Forest Farms from the cradle to the White House, with a legendary devotion to creating a great organic Kona Coffee (and the Devil Dog's personal favorite), Howard and Stephanie Conant were sailors.  They sailed between California and Australia numerous times in their 51 foot custom built aluminum sailboat and palace of the sea, the Holy Grail.  This was their life, this was who they are.

But they stopped in Hawaii and bought a piece of land and carved out a Shangri La of a coffee farm, 9 acres out of virgin forest and 5 acres of coffee trees.  They worked the farm for 9 years, raised it to perfection, saw their coffee being served in the White House, coffee Howard had roasted with his own hands. And then they sold it to Dawn and Robert Barnes, who run Kona Rain Forest Farms today, and continue the extraordinary coffee legacy of Howard and Stephanie with an unequaled devotion to quality, fresh roasting orders for immediate shipment, and expanded production, including 5 new acres of coffee trees in the upper pasture, continued orders for special occasions from the White House,  and who placed third in this years Gevalia cup.

With the brand safe in worthy hands Howard and Stephanie returned to their first love, sailing their devoted boat Holy Grail, and enjoying life in Kona in a new home in the hills above Keauhou. And so it was that we took the Holy Grail out on a Sunday afternoon with a party of friends. Howard and Stephanie were in their element, beaming, as we steered a course off shore in the deep and cobalt blue waters of the Kona Coast, a dreamscape of an ocean of sheer translucent beauty on a fabulous working sailboat capable of any of the starry crossed voyages of our oceanic imagination. It was a truly lovely day.

The Holy Grail is available for charters, and you could scarcely be in more capable hands on a more romantically unconventional conveyance, the oceangoing sailboat. The Holy Grail.  These are serious, fabulous people with a life at sea in their veins.

Howard and Stephanie can be found at www.konasail.com or can be reached at 808 987 9698.

This is Howard in the photo below, working the boat instinctively in a silhouette of the afternoon sun as we came in from a wonderful day at sea. 

Kona Rain Forest Farms can be found at www.konarainforestcoffee.com or call Robert and Dawn Barnes at 808 328 1941

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